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Brenda Jones - Cancer Survivor, Maker of HUG WRAPS

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REWIRING YOUR BRAIN

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Fed up with "drab" hospital gowns while undergoing treatment for breast cancer, Brenda Jones learned how to sew and created her own. Now, her "Hug Wraps" bring joy to patients all over the world. Brenda Jones felt as if her world had ended when she was diagnosed with breast cancer back in October 2008. Being forced to put on a drab, generic, embarrassing traditional hospital gown every time she went in for treatment only made the experience worse. So with a flash of inspiration — and a crash-course in sewing — she decided to do something about it. Much to her surprise, the kimono-style wrap she designed to give herself some dignity in the waiting room started garnering requests from other patients. Today? She's not only recovered, but she can hardly keep up with the demand for her homemade Hug Wraps from cancer patients all over the world. "As any cancer patient knows, you can't imagine getting that diagnosis," Jones tells Tonic from her home in Southampton, N.J. "I remember my face just draining and going white and numb — the rollercoaster of emotions was unbelievable." After what felt like an eternity of tests, scans, mammograms, biopsies and two surgical procedures, Jones began radiation treatment in January last year. By that point, she had simply had enough and like many cancer patients, she felt angry. "I remember walking in and the staff pointed to a dressing room and said 'go on in there and put on a hospital gown.'" When she saw the dreary, flimsy gowns in huge piles, she broke down. "It was just another smack in the face to say 'you are a cancer patient and you are sick,'" she recalls, emotionally. Tears streaming down her face, she put on two of the gowns (to cover her modesty). It was during this low point that she had a brainwave. I'll make my own gown, a cozy, fun alternative," "I wanted it warm, with an open front like a kimono wrap and I wanted it to be colorful and fun, not this drab, hideous thing." hugwraps@verizon.net www.hugwraps.com

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