Create a one of a kind gift for a friend or loved one with cancer

It’s difficult to hear when a friend or loved one has cancer and even more difficult to know what to say or do. Assembling and delivering a care package — something truly unique and special — might be the perfect solution. Of course, everyone’s journey with cancer is different. So, before you start shopping, really think about what would make your friend or loved one smile. Here are a few quick tips on putting together the perfect cancer care package.


Something for the brain: Maybe it’s a good read, a magazine, puzzle book, coloring book, journal or mini board game to create the perfect distraction.

Something useful: Not everything in the package has to be fun or creative. Think practical — lip balm, hand lotion, soap, bottled water or tissues.

Something familiar: If your loved one or family member is in the hospital, consider including a favorite family photo, CD, family photo album or plant to make it feel more like home.

Something cozy: Anything soft — pajamas, robe, blanket, stuffed animal or warm socks.

Something yummy: Include a favorite snack, candy or gum. Opt for items that are individually wrapped and easy to pack.

Something helpful: Include a gift certificate for groceries, gas, lawn care or housecleaning services. These can help offset expenses along the way.

Something funny: People say that laughter is the best medicine. Include a joke book, a funny movie or sign with a funny saying.

Something encouraging: Make it special with a handwritten note, drawing or poem.


If you are mailing your care package, decorate the inside of the box with colorful paper, photos or an inspirational message. If you are delivering the care package in person, put the items in a basket, tote bag or plastic tote and tie it up with a colorful bow or scarf. Head to your local craft store or visit Pinterest for inspiration. Make opening the care package as fun and special as receiving it.


If your friend or loved one is in the hospital or care center, remember to be mindful of regulations — visiting hours, rules on what can be delivered and dietary restrictions.

Making a cancer care package requires a little bit of time and thoughtfulness, but it doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive or fancy. Ultimately the best care package is made from the heart. It’s unique and shows your friend or loved one how much care and support them … and ultimately, that’s the best gift of all.