The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


A hospital is a very scary place for a child.

When Cindy Kerr’s son, Ryan, was diagnosed with cancer in 2002, she wanted to brighten up his hospital room, so she began making pillowcases. She soon realized the difference these brightly colored pillowcases were making in Ryan’s attitude and recovery, so she began making pillowcases for the other children staying in the Oncology Unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Cindy’s pillowcase-making idea took off and before she knew it, she had created the national non-profit organization ConKerr Cancer.


Alec McKenzie, of Oregon, recently received a
pillowcase from ConKerr Cancer NW Ohio Chapter.

A chapter of ConKerr Cancer serving Toledo and Mercy Children’s hospitals has been started by Catawba Island resident Linda Peiffer. After reading about ConKerr Cancer in Family Circle magazine, Peiffer felt compelled to start making pillowcases for children with serious illnesses as well. Since then Peiffer has become the regional coordinator for Toledo/Northwest Ohio.

ConKerr Cancer’s mission is “helping children feel special while battling life changing illnesses.” Volunteers sew pillowcases for the children and bring them to designated drop-off points where ConKerr volunteers pick them up and deliver them to the hospital’s pediatric wards.

So far, 150 pillowcases have been delivered to the two Toledo hospitals. However, the need is great between the two hospitals, which can easily use 125 cases per month.

The pillowcases delivered so far have been made by just a handful of volunteers. Peiffer said a network of volunteers is desperately needed to sew the pillowcases, which is a very simple project requiring only basic sewing skills.

The chapter has set up numerous locations throughout Northwest Ohio to drop off the pillowcases, making it convenient for the sewers. Among the drop-offs are Sewing Express in Oregon, Cottage Creation & Design in Oak Harbor and The Busy Thimble and Hobby Lobby in Bowling Green. For a complete list of drop off locations, visit and click on “Chapters.”

If you sew and would like to help these hospitalized children, call Peiffer at 419-491-4722 or email




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