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4-H'ers assemble care bags for cancer patients

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Photo submitted Kyle Cohick (left) and Morgan Brack (right) present a care bag to a patient at the San Juan Cancer Center. The care bags were crafted by youth at a 4-H retreat.

At a recent District 10 4-H retreat, about 60 4-H youth gave their time to make care bags for San Juan Cancer Center patients.

The event includes 4-H children from Montrose, Delta, Gunnison, Grand Junction and San Miguel counties. State-level 4-H personnel come to support the event, which is designed to expose 4-H youth to life skills and team building. Various workshops covered topics far and wide, but a few children chose to do something special with their time and make a difference.

Morgan Brack, 13, and Kyle Cohick, 12, are two young 4-H participants who chose to make care bags for cancer patients over more exciting activities, like kickboxing.

"Giving back to the community was a higher priority than the other options," said Morgan, who has participated in 4-H for four years.

"I thought it was better to help people with cancer," said Kyle.

The bags support cancer patients and have useful items inside such as lotion, chapstick, candy, and writing pads. Positive messages are written on the outside of the bags- such as, "Pain is temporary, hope can last forever," "Be strong, be smart, be kind, be humble," and "Be strong, because things will get better. It may be stormy now, but it never rains forever."

The youth indicated they felt fulfilled being able to help. "We knew they were going to cancer patients and had the chance to make them smile and cheer them up," said Morgan.

"We're super proud of our 4-H kids for helping our community. It really shows what 4-H is all about -- we like to be involved in the community and show we care," said Nicole Goza, who helped with the District 10 retreat.

A joint effort between Montrose Memorial Hospital, San Juan Radiation Oncology and St. Mary's Hospital, the San Juan Cancer Center opened its doors on April 3, 2006.

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