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Sending Hope to Cancer Patients One Daffodil at a Time

The Marple Newtown High School Interact Club presented Bryn Mawr Health Center in Newtown Square over 300 daffodils to give to cancer patients.

NEWTOWN SQUARE–Students from's Interact Club presented of Newtown Square's cancer unit on March 17 a large box filled with over 300 daffodil stems to give to their patients facing cancer.

"Everyone who comes here will receive a daffodil," said Mollie Fahnestock, the club's adviser. "Daffodils are the flower of hope and as it is a sign of spring, it is also a sign of hope."

According to Fahnestock, the high school's Interact Club–an international rotary service club for youth, dedicating service and time to the community and internationally–has been participating in the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days for over 10 years.

The Daffodil Days program "involves offering daffodils every spring to donors in appreciation for their contributions," states the American Cancer Society's Web site.

And although many students purchased the daffodils to send to friends, over 300 of the 2,135 daffodils sold were purchased just for the cancer patients at Bryn Mawr Health Center.

"We were more than pleased with the donations this year, especially to have more than 300 daffodils donated to cancer patients," said Fahnestock.

The idea to donate the daffodils to cancer patients started with Dr. Tina Sweeley, assistant principal at the high school, who recently lost her grandmother in a six-year battle to cancer.

Sweeley's grandmother would visit Bryn Mawr Health Center often and Sweeley mentioned how caring the staff was with her grandmother and the other patients with cancer during her time there.

"I just thought it would be a great idea to put an option down there on the order form to donate a stem or daffodil to a cancer patient," said Sweeley.

And if her grandmother could see the daffodils donated today, Sweeley said, "It would've made her smile to receive a bouquet of flowers after a treatment or visit."

Shana Reji, a sophomore member of the Interact Club and one of the students who helped delivered the flowers, said she joined the club for exactly this reason: "to help people."

"I hope the daffodils will bring them [patients with cancer] hope and happiness...it also smells really good," said Reji.

The Interact Club asked for donations during school period lunches for several weeks, in which all proceeds will be donated to the cancer society. The daffodils were sold for $1 per stem.

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