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Donation keeps cancer patients warm

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ambassador Beth Albrecht admires the blankets donated to cancer patients Tanna Parker (in wheelchair) and Lori Rasmussen, at St. Luke’s Regional Cancer Center. (Photo submitted)1 / 2
(From left) Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ambassador Beth Albrecht, St. Luke’s Regional Cancer Center staff member Tina Roberts, Cancer Center patients Tanna Parker (in wheelchair) and Lori Rasmussen and Beth Nimens from Miller Hill Subaru. (Photo submitted)2 / 2

Subaru of America and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) have joined forces to provide much-needed support and warmth to patients fighting cancer in the Duluth community and across the country. On July 6, Beth Albrecht, LLS ambassador from Duluth, accepted 60 blankets on behalf of cancer patients currently being treated at St. Luke's hospital.

A year ago, Albrecht was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Before having cancer, she had been healthy her whole life and the only experience she had as a patient in a

hospital was when she gave birth to her son, seven years before, she said.

"The news was terrifying and changes your life forever," she said.

Her treatment consisted of six rounds of chemotherapy at St. Luke's hospital. Each treatment meant six days in the hospital.

"The first time, I was terrified," she said, "but my family was great — they just jumped into action. It was hard but we did it."

Albrecht added that by the end of her treatment, she felt more like a regular guest checking into a comfy hotel.

"I felt better every time I was seen by the doctors at St. Luke's," she said.

Today, Albrecht is doing well. Her cancer is in remission and after two years, the chances of her cancer coming back have been significantly reduced. After five years she will be considered "cured."

During the Subaru Loves to Care month back in June, visitors of Miller Hill Subaru were given the chance to write personalized messages of hope on cards that were delivered alongside the blankets to patients undergoing cancer treatment at St. Luke's. Those who wrote messages of hope received bracelets to help spread awareness of LLS and Miller Hill Subaru's goal to provide hope and care, one gesture at a time.

By the end of June, close to 400 Subaru retailers had donated more than 30,000 blankets along with thousands of messages of hope to patients fighting cancer across the country.

"Through our Subaru Love Promise we aim to make the world a better place, and our owners care deeply about giving back in their local communities," said Alan Bethke, senior vice president of marketing at Subaru of America. "We are proud to team up with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help provide care and support to patients battling cancer."