Almost every big hospital or clinic relies a lot on philanthropy because it takes big money to provide modern medical care, but one woman who is also a cancer patient is trying to do good on a smaller scale from the comfort of an easy chair.
“I just have to stay positive,” said Karen Danhof as she faces down a stage-four colon cancer diagnosis. “I say medicine for the mind is as good as medicine for the body.”
Danhof volunteers at CARTI while also going through treatment. They figured out warming chairs can help the extreme discomfort of chemotherapy, and now she is looking to bring the heat to as many people as possible.
“When you're in a heated chemotherapy seat, it makes it a lot more tolerable and comfortable,” she said. “Because with the chemicals going through you, you are literally chilled to the bone.”
Danhof gets her treatments in Benton, but that clinic doesn't have the deluxe heated chairs yet. A trip to Little Rock convinced her to try and change that.
“I sat in this seat that reclined and had four different heating elevations and it was so great and I thought 'we need these in Benton.,’” Danhof said on why she started a fundraiser called Heat the Seats. “We are at $30,000 and we just started in January, so the community of Benton has rallied behind this and it's been so impactful.”
“When you are sitting for potentially hours on end to get a treatment it really matters that you can be comfortable,” said Dr. Jamie Burton, a medical oncologist at CARTI. “We know that someone's outlook as they're fighting this diagnosis is so important, so being comfortable so that they can really focus all of their attention on just getting well.”
The chairs also allow better interaction with doctors, nurses and family during infusions. Dr. Burton says medicines have evolved to the point where many patients can still work while fighting the disease. The chairs and wifi in the clinics allow those patients to get their work done while the chemo does its job.
Danhof's focus is on Benton and you can donate at this link. Be sure to specify “CARTI Benton” in the drop down menu.