Astellas Volunteers Spread Cheer to Patients Battling Cancer

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Astellas Volunteers Spread Cheer to Patients Battling Cancer

Multimedia from this Release

Monday, April 16, 2018 - 4:45pm


Being away from families and friends during the holidays can be difficult. For a person battling cancer and their loved ones – this can be especially challenging. 

To help brighten the day of these patients and their families, Astellas employees wrote inspirational messages on note cards and decorated them. These note cards were put into 2,000 care packages assembled by Astellas volunteers to give to patients and caregivers staying at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodges and Ronald McDonald Houses. The volunteer event was part of Astellas’ inaugural Patient and Caregiver Week – a series of events to educate employees on the patient’s journey and how Astellas can do more to help them.

“Writing these inspirational messages to children battling cancer was a great way to spend time with my daughters and their cousins,” said Nicole Sasanuma, manager Government Communications. “The girls had so much fun and were disappointed that they didn’t have more cards to decorate.”

Nicole knows first-hand how words of encouragement can go a long way, as her niece was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumor in her kidney at the age of two.

“Our family is so grateful for the support that we received while my niece was being treated,” said Nicole. “Today she is a happy and healthy teenager, and this opportunity was a way for her to share her personal words of hope with other cancer patients.”

“Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana families were touched by this heartfelt show of support,” said Lisa Mitchell, VP of Programs and Services, RMHC-CNI.  “Having Astellas employees invest time and care to bring comfort is energizing.  We are grateful to have amazing partners like Astellas who are committed to supporting families seeking medical care for their children, as the emotional toll is great.”

Living SMART™ is the Astellas approach to preparing communities today for what can happen tomorrow. The Living SMART framework brings together the strength of the charitable Astellas USA Foundation and our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) work to find the areas where we can make the most impact to improve lives. Astellas USA Foundation and Astellas CSR collaborate to create a positive impact on society through three overarching focus areas: health and well-being; Science WoRx (STEM education); and disaster response. To read more about Living SMART, see the Astellas Americas Corporate Social Responsibility Report Card.