Subaru, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Blanketing Cancer Patients with Love

Patients of the UAMS Myeloma Institute were recently wrapped in additional care and comfort, thanks to the nationwide Subaru Loves to Care initiative by the vehicle manufacturer in partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Employees from the Subaru of Little Rock dealership and the Arkansas division of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) visited the institute June 27 with 80 throw blankets to share with myeloma patients in the eighth-floor clinic. This marks the second year the dealership and LLS visited UAMS and shared blankets to spread love, hope and warmth to cancer patients and their families.

The blankets were accompanied by more than 25 messages of support from the dealership’s employees and customers written on cards with printed borders stating “A message of hope – where love meets hope.”

Delivering the blankets to UAMS were LLS’ Bryan Turley and Subaru’s marketing director Cecil Turner and internet sales manager Corey Haydar.

After the event, the cards were left on display at the front desk and packet-pickup up area. One of the cards was from Will Jennings, a Subaru employee who wanted to attend the event but had a last-minute conflict. He wrote:

Keep your head up and your mind strong. The mind and your attitude controls everything. Our prayers are with you.

The distribution had special meaning for Jennings. The Hot Springs man, 43 and father of a 15-year-old daughter, is also a myeloma patient.

“Anytime you can do something for someone else it’s always a great thing,” he said later of the blanket distribution. “I was diagnosed about a year ago through bloodwork taken during a routine exam and I was sent to the Myeloma Institute.”

Diagnosed with low-risk myeloma, Jennings had three rounds of chemotherapy and two stem-cell transplants.  He is in remission and on a maintenance treatment, taking a lower dose of chemotherapy one time a week for nine weeks.

“I was told this was the place to be and I fully believe that,” he said, adding that he is thankful for the treatment he’s received.

Myeloma patient Ed Tinsley, 65, and his wife, Meredith, were visiting the clinic when the blankets arrived. The New Mexico resident, who received his first stem-cell transplant in 2011 and is a patient of Frits van Rhee, M.D., Ph.D., was preparing for his second transplant the following day.

“I think these blankets are a wonderful thing,” Tinsley said.

Subaru and LLS brought the Subaru Loves to Care initiative to life at 498 Subaru retailers across the country, delivering nearly 40,000 blankets.