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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Ouch bags become a hit

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Members of the Cherokee Quilt Batts proudly hold their "ouch bags , " made in a variety of colors. Photo by Nancy Hohbach
The "Anti-Ouch Pouch" has become a hit and the Cherokee Quilt Batts took it upon themselves to make many of these bags for women who are cancer survivors. The bag was designed by Deon Mass and dedicated to her mother, Doris Lock, who had taught her to sew. Both women are breast cancer survivors and members of the American Sewing Guild.

This soft pillow is designed to be worn snugly against the underarm to cushion the area after breast surgery. The wedge is shaped gently to hold the arm away from the body when the user is standing. The strap holds the pillow in place without having to use sore arm muscles to clutch it. The strap is adjustable via the overlap opening. This allows survivors to use their arms and hands for doing what they like.

After showing the bag to her physician at the local breast health center, she learned it was a completely new concept with the potential of alleviating pain for many. Maas inspired the Central Illiniois chapter of the american Sewing Guild to hold a mass production event which created 150 pouches in one day. Since then, they have distributed over 500 pouches.

As word spread, more pouches are created. the Cherokee Batts received the word and held a two-day retreat at the Cleghorn Community Center. Members come from Cleghorn, Holstein, Ida Grove, Kingsley, Correctionville, Sibley, Storm Lake, Alta in addition to Cherokee.

Cherokee Batts who gathered for this retreat were: Vickie Wilson, Pam Cronin, Opal Rupp, Mary McIntosch, Lisa Bingham, Jamie Renken, Ramona Schuett,, Kay Kruger, Diane Droegmiller, Jeannette Bruning, Shelly Tiefenthaler, Betty Bilney, Marlys Segar, Donna Bremer, Lana Lundt, Donna Hayes, Darleen Martin, Betty Resch, Karen DeSotel, Jill Hecox, Marie Oman, Dorothy Swain, Jeanna Bergendahl, Betty Waller, Jean Schumacker and Jeanette Woodall.

Each member completed one pouch in various fabrics. It was a great activity using their skills in doing what they enjoy doing, stitching while helping someone deal with their pain. Many sewing machines and equipment was hauled into the Cleghorn center in a camaraderie effort to help others.

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Periodically, I scan the Internet to see how far and wide the Anti-Ouch Pouch has spread. Am happy to read about the Quilt Batts sewing day! They are part of a nation-wide effort that has produced tens of thousands of mastectomy pillows, which are given to patients free of charge. These pillows are also being used for people who have had other chest surgeries, as well as people with broken upper arms. You will find they will be in great demand when they are introduced to your local medical facilities. One suggestion: Our Peoria Area Chapter of the American Sewing Guild has found that there are many sewers willing to make the pillows if the materials are provided to them. Our group makes up kits, with all of the materials included, to distribute to other organizations and individuals. It multiplies the output. Please keep up the good work, until a cure is found! Many thanks, Deon Maas

-- Posted by deonmaas on Tue, Apr 13, 2010, at 11:06 PM

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