Anna Nelson is one of the original volunteers who first started the concierge program ten years ago. Many of our patients and family members from outside of the Puget Sound area needed a place where they could receive Seattle information. Anna was asked to help provide these services which has since expanded to diversionary activities, community resources, and much more.
While Anna has been a volunteer with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) for almost 10 years, she’s been assisting Hutchinson Center patients and families for over 19 years. In 1984, Anna’s local chapter of the national philanthropic sorority Epsilon Sigma Alpha began supplying household items to patient’s local apartments. The sorority was then asked to help make comfort quilts for the patients in the hospital. Anna saw the expressions of joy on each of their faces as they received a tie-quilt and she knew she couldn’t stop making the quilts. Since that time, Anna has made over 500 quilts a year for transplant patients! She continues to make comfort quilts but concentrates on keeping the infusion and apheresis units of the SCCA clinic well-stocked. The apheresis unit recently wrote to Anna, “Thank you so much for your generosity of spirit–the quilts you make for our patients are a tangible hug. Your craftsmanship and compassion are truly appreciated.”
Anna is also a 17-year survivor of breast cancer and feels that special closeness with the patients she helps. “I still have long term follow-up patients tell me they still have the quilt that I made for them. Those are the little things that mean the most to you.”
For the past seven years, Anna has also helped the Hutch School to collect Campbell’s Soup labels to raise funds for school supplies and equipment, heading up the project for the last two years.
Anna and her husband Bruce recently celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary. They live in Mountlake Terrace and have three children and five grandchildren. Anna enjoys sewing, crocheting, knitting, going to the movies, travel, and gardening (she has 27 varieties of roses in her garden). She is also an avid collector of Department 56 Holiday Heritage Houses.