Lunchbox drive for UAMC pediatric cancer patients - WNEM TV 5

Lunchbox drive for UAMC pediatric cancer patients

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Lunchboxes for UAMC drive (Source: Tucson News Now) Lunchboxes for UAMC drive (Source: Tucson News Now)
Donation box for lunchboxes (Source: Tucson News Now) Donation box for lunchboxes (Source: Tucson News Now)
Donation box in lobby at UAMC. (Source: Tucson News Now) Donation box in lobby at UAMC. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The University of Arizona Medical Center is holding a special drive for its pediatric cancer patients, but it's not a typical drive. Hospital workers are collecting new and unused lunchboxes. Patients will use them to hold medication instead of food.

Organizers preferably want people to donate soft lunchboxes with a side zipper instead of the kind that folds over. That will help keep the medications organized. The more colorful and kid friendly the carrying case, the better. They're also looking items to put in the lunchboxes like thermometers, pill cutters, and pill cases.

Many of the pediatric cancer patients have gone through major surgeries, including bone marrow transplants. That means they have to take a lot of medications. The nurses at UAMC say they've found these lunch boxes make it easier for these kids to keep track of their medications. It's also an easy go-to bag when patients have to quickly make unexpected hospital trips.

"It's a nice thing to carry around. It makes it a little easier (than a standard paper pharmacy bag). A lot of the medications, you want to keep it a certain temperature. I don't want to get them really hot in Arizona's weather so it's nice to throw them all in there with an ice pack, your syringes and whatever else we need and head out the door," said Sunshine Weaver, whose 9-year-old is battling leukemia. 

The drive officially lasts through September. However, since there's an ongoing need for them, hospital workers will continue to accept them even after the drive is over.

Those interested in donating new and unused lunchboxes can drop them in a box in UAMC's main lobby and the Diamond Children's lobby near Speedway and Campbell. If that is too far, there are also boxes at the north campus near Prince and Campbell at 3838 N. Campbell, the UA Cancer Center's Oncology Clinic at 1891 W. Orange Grove near Orange Grove and La Cholla on the northwest side, or the Pediatric Wilmot Clinic near Broadway and Wilmot at 535 N. Wilmot Rd. on the east side.

"The donations that are given are amazing. They make the kids smile which is great especially during all of this," said Weaver. "It's kind of nice to see them smile because he didn't smile as much before."

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