Fighting cancer one bead at a time
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A Tucson woman loses her battle with cancer and leaves behind a legacy that will tug at your heart. Her passion for beadwork led her to work with her hands, and she lent those hands to fellow patients in the same situation. Now, her project becomes a legacy.
Sue Woodall made elaborate, elegant and one-of-a-kind necklaces, earrings, bracelets and art with beads. It was 76 year old’s passion until she died of lung cancer Thursday.
KGUN9 News reporter Kevin Keen asked Woodall’s daughter-in-law, Denise Evans: “What were beads like for her?” “Jewels. They were jewels,” Evans answered. “They were beautiful and they expressed many different feelings for her. The colors and the textures and the shapes--they just expressed a lot of pleasure."
Pleasure the Tucsonan first shared with fellow cancer patients after she went into remission four years ago.
“As any cancer patient and their families knows, there's a lot of time in the waiting room,” explained Woodall’s granddaughter, Jennifer Evans.
Jennifer said Woodall set up a table in a waiting room at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Patients and families could make their own necklaces, bracelets and key chains out of beads.
“It was a way that people started opening up about their emotions about watching a family member going through something or going through treatment themselves,” Jennifer said, adding it's a form of therapy.
Denise called it an escape from stress, chemotherapy, radiation and the cancer.
“An escape from reality, at times. To offer those people that escape, there's nothing like that,” Denise said. “To be able to do that for somebody that's going through cancer, there's nothing like it.”
It became a special program at the Cancer Center held on a regular basis. Now, it's a legacy.
“Will you miss her?” Keen asked Denise. “My aunt called this morning and said, 'Is there anything we can get from the store?'” Denise said, tearing up. “I said, 'Can you find me a plug to put in that hole in my heart because that hole is so big right now?’”
A number of volunteers rotate and work the bead table at the Cancer Center and they said they won't stop. The Cancer Center, which helps by providing supplies among other things, also said the program will live on.