Acts of Kindness: Marianne Stokes - 8 News NOW

Acts of Kindness: Marianne Stokes

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LAS VEGAS - On any given day, you might find Marianne Stokes and her husband of 50 years, Robert, making a delivery to the Breast Center at Sunrise Hospital. She drops off pillows she makes by hand for breast cancer patients.

"The pillows go out to patients with lumpectomy and mastectomy. The gals who have both breasts removed, that do reconstructive, the pillows are very good for that as well. It's a support - kind of like a ‘blankee' maybe, and it's also good for patients who have chemotherapy that have a chest port. When they ride in the car, their seatbelt can rub right on that port, so the pillow can act as a buffer," said Breast Health Nurse Navigator Linda Buckley.

"It's like her ministry. I believe she does it out of the kindness of her heart. She gets no monetary support for this, and I think she's an amazing lady."

Twelve years ago, Marianne read an article about women in California who were making special pillows to help cancer patients.

"I had to do something, and I didn't know what I was going to do," she said. "When my mother had cancer, my sister through the years, I kept thinking I have to do something for cancer patients, but I didn't know what - until I saw the article and that's what triggered it."

During the past 12 years, she's made thousands of these pillows for women and men who are battling breast cancer. Working tirelessly day and night, it became her mission - sometimes dropping off as many as 300 pillows in a single delivery. Each of them is meticulously put together by hand, using cheerful colors and including a small card that holds a powerful message.

"It says what cancer cannot do. It cannot invade the soul, suppress memories, kill friendship, destroy peace, conquer the spirit, shatter hope, cripple love, corrode faith, steal eternal life, silence courage," she said. "It gives each patient the courage to continue going, knowing what cancer cannot do to them."

So many patients do just that.

"The feedback I get back from our patients is this is phenomenal," Buckley said. "When they use it, they realize what a treasure that pillow is."

"A couple of them have cried, made me cry. They're very important to me. Whether I know them or not, even if no one even knows me, that's my goal to just keep doing it until I can't do it any longer," Marianne said.

8 News NOW decided it was time to reward Marianne's efforts - awarding her $800 as part of its weekly series Acts of Kindness.

If you wish to nominate someone for Acts of Kindness, visit our website or e-mail us.

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