One day, Doreen was approached by a nurse named Christine Leblanc. She was concerned about a cancer patient in her oncology unit, a young man, who was 19 years old. She described him as almost homeless. She said that he wasn’t always coming in for his treatments and was in need of some positive changes in his life.
He had scraps of paper hanging out of his pockets and a tattered old bag of some kind. Doreen introduced herself to the young man, and they chatted. When asked how things were going, he responded with “Ok, but I hate coming here.” She told him that if he came in for his treatment the following week, she would bring him a surprise.
When Doreen left the hospital that day, she went to buy a backpack and other items: pajamas, underwear, t-shirts, socks, a VOBOC cap, toiletries, gift cards to restaurants, essentially anything that would be useful to him during his hospital stay.
The following week, when he returned to the hospital for treatment, he was handed the backpack. He opened it and started emptying its contents. He got more and more excited with each item he took out. In the back, were other patients who looked at the backpack with curiosity and excitement.
Doreen went home thinking about the delight on the boy’s face, and the curiosity of other patients. She thought; wouldn’t it be cool to bring in backpacks for all the other young patients?