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NKC teenager creates bags to lighten load for cancer patients

Posted at 10:28 AM, Nov 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-28 12:31:13-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — At Oak Park High School, when 16-year-old Cherlyn Rich isn't studying, she likes to get a little crafty.

"Crafting, sewing , anything that involves doing things with my hands," Rich said.

She sews hundreds of handmade bags.

"I've made... I don't even know how many anymore," she said. "It's been a lot."

The reason she's making them is to take a little weight off of patients battling cancer.

"They get mastectomys and they have to carry these massive drains around and this makes it easier to carry it," Rich said. "And then they don't have to hold it and worry about stopping their everyday life just because they have the drains."

For Rich, making these bags for people battling cancer hits home.

"My dad got diagnosed with renal carcinoma in my eighth grade year," Rich said.

Her dad passed away from the cancer two years ago.

"I saw him fight that battle," Rich said. "It's a hard battle to fight."

Now she's helping people through that battle, one stitch at a time.

"Before I started these I was really struggling because I missed him and he was always the person I went to," Rich said. "Honestly helping other people makes me feel better about losing him because now I can actually help someone."

Now she's lightening the load to those who carry so much.

Rich, with the help of her grandmother, pick out hundreds of different fabrics to match the personality of the patients.

Once she finishes the bags, they're distributed to Saint Luke's Hospital.