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About Us

April Kunzelman
Chemo Cargo President
Mission statement: Our free tote program to first time chemotherapy patients sustains dignity, provides comfort, and relieves anxiety, allowing patients to make the most of their treatment.

Purpose: provide first time chemotherapy patients with a portable package of personal care and comfort items to ease the stress and anxiety of treatment.

The operations are run on an entirely volunteer basis. Totes are distributed in the Northern Illinois region, through arrangements with SwedishAmerican Health System, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, and Rockford Health System.

Why does Chemo Cargo exist?

I was diagnosed with cancer in December 2009. After surgery, my oncologist recommended chemotherapy.

My first treatment happened in the middle of February, 2010. Fortunately for me, a friend of mine has a sister who has gone through extensive chemotherapy treatments, and she was able to advise me on what to bring that first day. Still, the unknown was very scary.

Treatment days are long, boring and stressful. By my second treatment, I realized I was lucky to have had such good advice. I also realized there are many different resources available to cancer patients, but it can be hard to find them. The seeds of Chemo Cargo were sown that day.

When you are overwhelmed by your diagnosis and what is happening to you physically, emotionally and financially, small things like what to take to the hospital with you for your comfort during treatment is the last thing on your mind. My thought was if we could fill tote bags with some comfort items, along with practical items that you might not necessarily think of offhand, it would be a welcome blessing to those stressed by the unknown of that first day.

Many people - family, friends, coworkers, strangers - were so kind to me during my treatment that I feel compelled to try to do something to pay it forward.  Chemo Cargo is my attempt.

Thank you for reading my story.

-April Kunzelman

Contact Information:
Chemo Cargo, 13343 Wynstone Way, Rockton, IL 61072
april@chemocargo.org