By Marion Adams Greenlee, R.N.
It was her bejeweled stick pin I noticed first, followed by her bright smile. It took a minute to take in the full picture of the lady standing before me in the reception area of Gilda’s Club….alopecia with a “chemo turban” on…but, really, it was all about the pin she had placed on the turban. I re-marked how lovely it was. She simply smiled and said, “It makes me feel jaunty.” For me, that was the birth of PINPals.
After sharing my idea with Gilda’s Club’s Program Director Felice Apolinsky – a basket full of pins available for anyone who wanted to borrow one (or more) – the idea took off. I reached out to friends, family, co-workers…anyone I could corner really…asking them to raid their jewelry boxes for any type of pin women could wear on their turbans or hats. They donated pins of all types and shapes: butterflies, elephants, Disney characters, Christmas, Easter and Halloween themes, pins made from feathers, silver, crystal. The list was endless. I even bought a few at garage sales.
My hope for PINPals? That they will bring a smile, offer courage and bring inspiration to all who choose to decorate their turbans/caps with a pin or two. Maybe it’s as simple as making them feel “jaunty.”
Look for PINPals at both Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee locations.
This story originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of our e-GildaGram.