Stamford woman creates care packages for people going through cancer treatment

Going through cancer can be a lonely and scary time, but a Stamford woman is using her own experience to support and encourage patients in treatment.

News 12 Staff

Sep 1, 2020, 9:12 PM

Updated 1,380 days ago

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Going through cancer can be a lonely and scary time, but a Stamford woman is using her own experience to support and encourage patients in treatment.
Marie Camacho, the founder of One Tough Cookie, is on a mission to provide comfort through care packages for people going through cancer treatment.
Each bag is filled with items that might make patients feel a little better physically and emotionally.
"Cancer has a way of making you feel weak, but, you know, if you have the right support system and the right mind frame, even dealing with the toughest pain; the brain can help out," she says.
Camacho knows from personal experience. A call from a nurse changed her life in September of 2015.
"She said, 'Marie, you have breast cancer,'" Camacho says.
Camacho began an aggressive course of treatment that would include 16 rounds of chemotherapy and multiple surgeries. In 2017, she beat cancer.
"I don't think I would've been able to do it without my faith or without the support that I had," she says.
An army of support - something she learned other cancer survivors didn't have during their journeys.
"And I said, 'I want to do something, I want to do something to pay forward all the support that I got through my family, through my friends,'" she says.
The result was One Tough Cookie.
Camacho launched the Stamford-based nonprofit in December, then partnered this year with three local hospitals to help their patients. That includes Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital, where Camacho dropped off 15 bags Tuesday.
They'll be waiting for patients when they get chemotherapy; a gesture Camacho knows can't take away cancer but one she hopes brings some relief.
"I don't get to see the patients when the bags are being given to them, but just the coordinators alone, how happy they are, makes me feel like I'm fulfilling a purpose," she says.
One Tough Cookie also offers support groups and celebratory bags and parades when treatment is over.


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