LONG BRANCH:Inspired by the efforts of a 5-year-old girl in Nevada to touch the lives of cancer patients through “Abby’s Purple Bag Project,” a local Girl Scouts troop delivered purple goodie bags to cancer patients at Monmouth Medical Center’s Outpatient Infusion Center.
The members of Troop #1620 from Shrewsbury prepared purple goodie bags to distribute to people with cancer, continuing Abby’s original Nevada-based program. The Girl Scouts prepared 50 purple bags containing water, small snacks, hand sanitizer, and the story of Abby’s Purple Bag Project. Troop leaders Jill Conway and Cristen Goldzweig coordinated visits to Monmouth Medical Center’s new Outpatient Infusion Center at Vantage Point on Highway 36 West in Wes Long Branch, as well as the hospital-based Outpatient Infusion Center, BBR4, where the girls delivered their bags to patients undergoing treatment.
Staffed by chemotherapy-certified oncology registered nurses, Monmouth Medical Center’s new Outpatient Infusion Center is committed to providing personalized and compassionate care to patients undergoing chemotherapy and infusion services in a comfortable, convenient setting. Laboratory testing and other services are performed as patients rest in recliners, and CBC tests are performed by experienced professionals in Monmouth Medical Center's state-of-the-art laboratory. A host of other services are provided for non-oncology and oncology patients, including IV hydration, iron infusions, colony stimulating factors, lab services, blood draws and central line maintenance.
“The Girl Scouts were greeted at both sites by patients who were touched by their generosity. The visit created an environment infused with joyful energy,” said Peggy Laggner, clinical director of Outpatient Infusion Services, Leon Hess Cancer Center at Monmouth Medical Center.
Abby’s Purple Bag Project originated when a young child’s grandmother was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Wanting to cheer up her grandmother, 5-year-old Abby delivered a purple bag filled with things she thought her grandmother would enjoy. Touched by her granddaughter’s actions, Abby’s grandmother asked that in lieu of buying unnecessary gifts for her own birthday, that her family provide gifts to other patients undergoing chemotherapy. Abby reached her goal of distributing 1,000 purple bags in every state, and the project continues to grow.
Girl Scout Troop #1620 also participated in Monmouth Medical Center’s “Roll out the Ribbons” campaign by dedicating ribbons to those whose lives had been touched by cancer. The Girl Scouts’ ribbons were displayed on the boardwalk promenade alongside many other ribbons of hope.