Cancer survivor launches care package service while isolating with coronavirus symptoms

The former research scientist launched the service when she was self-isolating due to exhibiting coronavirus symptoms.

Dr Shara Cohen used the knowledge she developed while helping people with cancer, to help others with coronavirus by adapting her cancer care relief package business.

The author and former research scientist with a PhD in Immunology, decided to use the knowledge and the contacts she has developed while setting up her business Cancer Care Parcel to launch the not-for-profit Corona Care Parcel.

The idea of the parcels came about by accident when, while self-isolating, Shara tried using some of the items in her cancer care parcels to alleviate her coronavirus symptoms such as neck cushions and a thermometer.

Dr Shara Cohen (pcitured) decided she wanted to help others who are showing coronavirus symptoms by sending them packages containing items that helped her. (Honi Pein)

It occurred to her that she had stock of these items, as well as hand sanitisers and tissues, which other people who were self-isolating like her may need.

After seeing the positive feedback from her Cancer Care Parcels, Shara decided that the same concept would be useful in helping those with coronavirus symptoms and a good way of contributing and helping.

She pulled together a team of people who are working pro bono to promote and deliver the special Corona Care Parcels and the idea became a reality.

Shara, 56, from Barnet said: “I was lying in bed feeling poorly and decided I wanted to help. Many of my current clients are vulnerable because of their cancer treatment so I wanted to see if I could help them and others.

“It’s such a difficult time and I know from personal experience that it’s really tricky to know what to do if you hear a friend or family member has the virus. Gifts like flowers and chocolates are nice to receive but do not last long and aren’t [that] useful. Being able to send a useful gift is also helpful when you can’t visit the sick person because of the lockdown situation.”

The packages, which ship worldwide, vary in price dependent on its contents; some of which are being donated, and the postage and packaging.

Many companies like the English Soap Company and Box and Seal have offered their support to the not-for-profit from donating items to go inside to helping provide the boxes.

The packages contain items such as a hot water bottle, a sleep mask, a foot massager, anti-bacterial wash or soap, peppermint tea and neck pillows.

Shara insists that she is not profiting from the pandemic.

“I ran the idea for the Corona Care Parcel past a number of people and a few said it would look like I am profiteering from the pandemic, but I can reassure people that I am not. We just want to support the community and play our part in helping people,” she added.

For more information on the coronavirus care parcels you can visit the website.

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