New chemo chairs for patients hoping to make a big difference

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - All the fundraising efforts by the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care to raise $115,000, has finally paid off.

They installed 23 new chairs for chemotherapy patients to use during their treatments.

"I call it my tushie warmer, but it is nice and warm on my back, so hey, we got tushie warmers in the cars, now we got them in the chairs."

They are patient-tested and approved and have many different functions.

"The fancy new chairs are just beautiful. They have heat, they have massage. You can move it any way you want to, tables on the side, footrest, wonderful."

The old ones were eleven years old and were installed when the building was built.

"The other ones were all worn. Some of them worked and some didn't tip back, and sometimes it would take two nurses to pull on the bottom to put your footrest up. These are magnificent, they were needed."

We're told without the help of the community during the fundraising efforts, the new chairs wouldn't have been possible.

"So many of our community people are impacted by cancer and want to do something, and this was a way that they could use their funds to help us."

Volunteers say the chairs will make a huge difference to patient care and comfort.

"As a volunteer here, I see how they get cold, they get sore from sitting for so long. We do have warm blankets we put over them, but to have heat on their back and the massage unit helps the comfort for them, especially the ones that are here hour after hour."

Staff hopes the chairs will make a difference with patients for many years to come.

"When our patients sit in that chair, they are embraced by their community who care about them, and even though they may never meet face to face, it is a way for them to say I got your back, we're there with you."