The Healing Power of Fuzzy Slippers

Earlier this summer, we received pictures of patients at the Cancer Center of North Carolina wearing our slippers (shown below). We were ecstatic that our slippers were being used to comfort those in pain, and bring a smile to the faces of those in need of hope and cheer. We reached out to Amy Edwards, the amazing woman who sent us these photos, for the full story.

H2P: Could you please give me a quick introduction to the work you do with the the Cancer Centers of North Carolina?

AE: I do not work at the CCNC. My family and friends have been the recipients of the kind, professional care and advanced chemotherapy they offer to those battling and surviving cancer. My husband and I donate what we can when we can to help patients and caregivers “in the moment”.

The oncologists and chemotherapy suite at Cancer Centers of North Carolina treated my sister for breast cancer over five years ago, and again two years ago when my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. Several more of my friends and co-workers have been treated there before and since my husband was treated.

In the spring of 2010 my husband began his chemotherapy. Every two weeks he took his treatments and we both sat together in the chemo suite with about forty other patients and caregivers. There were nurses and doctors coming and going, patients getting lab test. Good news, bad news… It is a scary and lonely time.

Every ray of sunshine is appreciated, every smile a comfort. Attitude is important. Sometimes it’s all you have. I was fighting for my husband and watching others fight too. I knew I couldn’t “cure” cancer. When I was in the middle of the fight the little things mattered the most to my husband and to me. You need to smile and laugh when you are fighting cancer! Love and laughter are as powerful as anything coming out of that IV bag. So, I took cookies and hot doughnuts to give out while my husband was being treated. I did it to pass my time, keep my mind off our fight for a few minutes and to share some smiles with others in the suite.

Volunteers assist in the chemo suite getting warm blankets for the patients, handing out donated goodies, sitting and listening when someone needs a friendly ear. Former patients, family and friends of both those who have battled and won and battled and lost – all come to give comfort, encouragement and smiles to those now sitting in the chairs. My husband volunteers and gives back the smiles and soft conversations he was so lovingly given.

A staff member at the Cancer Centers of North Carolina opens slippers to give to patients. A staff member at the Cancer Centers of North Carolina opens slippers to give to patients.

H2P: How did you come to find

AE: I found in 2008. A dear old friend of mine in NYC was in the final stages of a terminal disease. Other than a fun conversation now and again, there was not much I could do to help. I felt so helpless. He was a real character, a jokester extraordinaire. So, when he was in for a long hospital stay, I found, ordered flamingo slippers, and had them delivered to him in the hospital. He laughed and laughed, and sported those flamingos all over those halls. They were a hit. He came back to the hospital many times before he passed. Those flamingo slippers became as infamous as he was at that hospital.

When my husband had finished his chemo, I felt I had to give back. I wanted to give something to bring sunshine, to bring smiles to chemo patients in the darkest of times, something fun! Love and laughter kept us strong. Love kept my husband fighting and me sane! Yep, you can have fun while fighting cancer!

What else could I do? I wanted it to be something more than soft hats and cookies and doughnuts. I thought back to hearing my friend in NYC in the hospital just howling with laughter over his slippers.

A side effect of chemo for many patients is awful nerve pain in their feet. Bam! That was it! Why not comfort their painful, burning feet and brighten their day with comfy, silly, fuzzy animal slippers? TA-DA! to the rescue! I emailed Travis and he helped me figure out how to deliver my first pairs to CCNC. The smiles and giggles were priceless. It was just what the doctors ordered!

H2P: What was your impetus for purchasing animal slippers for the patients?

AE: I’ve already spoken about this a bit. There are a lot of people doing a lot of things to fight cancer, find a cure for cancer and help those who are living with it every day.

I do what I can one smile at a time. Just because you have cancer doesn’t mean you stop living. You need to seize every moment. You need to laugh even louder than normal. So, I try to give back the love that sustained my husband and I during our fight. One chemo suite, four dozen doughnuts, a few pairs of silly, warm, fuzzy animal slippers from at a time. Little things mean so much. The moment we are in is all we really have. Every giggle counts, every kind gesture counts. Every homemade chocolate chip cookie counts. Every pair of SURPRISE silly, warm, fuzzy animal slippers on feet that are in pain and bring a smile to the face of the unsuspecting patient COUNTS!

A happy patient takes a load off to warm her feet in a soft pair of fuzzy frog slippers. A happy patient takes a load off to warm her feet in a soft pair of fuzzy frog slippers.

H2P: How have they been received by folks at the Cancer Centers of North Carolina?

AE: The pictures are just a hint of the joy they brought!

The smiles and giggles on those I could give slippers to were priceless! The smiles on the nurses’ faces, the caregivers and doctors! I just wish I could give more pairs. It’s hard not to have enough to go around. But every silly pair I can give out are worth their loving, healing weight in gold.

H2P: Do you have any links or additional information for folks who would like to support or learn more about the Cancer Centers of North Carolina?

AE: I have two, actually:

I encourage every fan to consider buying an extra pair or two or dozen and donate them to the cancer ward at their local hospital or chemo treatment center. Every pair of fuzzy silly slippers from is more than just a pair of comfy, cool novelty slippers. They are fuzzy, warm, silly bunny or frog or bear or flamingo hugs of healing love to those who receive them. My heart knows it’s true.

H2P: Thanks to Amy for courageously sharing her stories with us and our readers!

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Questions? Complaints? Tips? Contact us: sarah [at]

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