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Cancer survivor makes good on promise

ESSEX/ELIZABETHTOWN-While she was suffering through the treatments and recovery associated with ovarian cancer, Gretchen Boardman made a promise to herself.

"I made a pledge in my heart that when I became well, I was going to do more things for other people," Boardman said.

Since, she has spent most of her Tuesday mornings traveling from her home in Essex to the Elizabethtown Community Hospital to donate items that she has made.

"Since the start of the year, I have brought in 16 quilts, 111 pillow cases, 26 tote bags, 36 water bags and 36 tissue covers," Boardman said. "I love to do it. It started out with the fact that I had a bunch of quilt tops that needed to be finished once I was better and that was the connection."

Boardman said that it started with a single quilt, some pillow cases and a tote bag.

"They were able to give them right away, and it kept growing from there," Boardman said. "I really feel that this is my way of giving back. If I can make some people feel good, if only for a moment, then I have helped out."

Boardman said that she also has a plan for a future project for the hospital.

"When I cam in for my mammogram in January, I asked the nurses how many people come in during the screenings for National Breast Cancer Month in October," she said. "The told me around 100, so I am going to make 100 or so pink pillow cases to give out to each person that comes in."

Gretchen and her husband, Dale, bring the items in each week through Julie Clark and Paula Huchro, who work in the lab.

"The ladies in the lab are as much a part of this as I am," Boardman said. "We work together as a team."

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