The new Buddy Check Backpack is free for all local women going through chemo for breast cancer.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's brand new thanks to Buddy Check 12, Baptist Health and two creative breast cancer survivors in Waycross, Georgia. It's a Buddy Check Backpack full of beautiful items, soothing help and great tips to get through chemotherapy.

It's worth $130, and it's free for all local women going through chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Lucy Gross-Barlow and Sharon Crews have created the new gift to give comfort and practical help to women taking that chemo journey.

How to get one? Guidelines to receive a Buddy Check Backpack:

o To be eligible you must be a breast cancer patient starting chemotherapy at any area facility in our community.

o Limit one backpack per patient.

o Patient will need to provide documentation from their physician that they are or recently started chemotherapy as part of treatment for breast cancer.

o The bag will be picked up by appointment only from breast care coordinators at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, Baptist Medical Center South, Baptist Medical Center Beaches and Baptist Medical Center Nassau.

o For questions regarding the backpack, call Linda Allen, director of women's imaging for Baptist Health, at (904) 202-1891 or visit the Baptist Health website.

o If you would like to donate and help other women receive a backpack, please go to the Baptist Health Buddy Check back pax project website.

Jeannie Blaylock reports on the new Buddy Check Back Pax for breast cancer patients by Buddy Check 12, Baptist Health. First Coast News

We have 300 backpacks to give away right now, but we'd love to have more. If you'd like to have a Buddy Check fundraiser, remember that for every $130 you raise, you purchase a backpack for a woman going through chemo.

Just let Jeannie Blaylock know if you host a fundraiser. She'd love to recognize you on First Coast News.

Her email isjblaylock@firstcoastnews.com

What's in the backpack?

  • A MP3 player downloaded with custom-guided imagery.
  • Lemon drops to curb the taste from harsh medicines and ginger drops to help with nausea.
  • An ice pellet tray to make tiny-sized ice to take away the metal taste.
  • A soft pink or zebra print blanket to take off the chill that can occur during treatments and an inflatable neck pillow.
  • Thermo bottle and game book.
  • A traveling journal and the My Chemo Cocktail & Me 5-in-1 treatment guide and more!

Laurie Ramos, who faithfully followed Buddy Check and found her own lump, is just beginning chemo. She is the first woman to receive a backpack. She says it's already giving her a sense of feeling reassured, and she hasn't even used it yet!

Ramos likes the pages in the book for jotting down questions for the doctor. Many patients report that either because of "chemo brain" or just because it's all overwhelming, they forget what to ask the doctor when they get in the office.

Women may keep the backpack or pass it along to another patient. The journal is for writing down bits of wisdom to give a boost to the next person dealing with chemo.

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