In a very limited release, eight children received special “Mimi Bears” as a gift.
The gift was made out of love and as a way to stay sane while Rita Gordon was treated for cancer.
“I did them just to have something to do to occupy my mind,” said Gordon, who recently returned to her Whitehall home after receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatment at Glens Falls Hospital.
“I made one for each of the great-grandchildren,” Gordon said. “They are spread out from here to Alaska, two boys and six girls. They range in age from three years old to the newest who was just born a month or so ago.”
During her treatment at the hospital, Gordon stayed with her son and daughter-in-law, Marty and Dot Gordon.
“My daughter-in-law had the pattern and I got material that I thought was fitting for each one of them,” said Gordon. “I made them while I was in treatment and gave it to them for Easter.”
Gordon said that she worked on the bears whenever she could over a six-month period.
“I would work on them whenever I felt like doing it,” said Gordon. “I was sick from November until April.”
Gordon said that she initially went to the hospital in November with an infection, and doctors ran tests at the time.
“About Thanksgiving time, they called me back in and I was diagnosed with lymphoma,” said Gordon. “I then started to stay with Marty and Dot in Queensbury and received my treatment at Glens Falls Hospital.”
Gordon’s treatment plan called for chemotherapy to be administered four times, but her first treatment was met with resistance in the form of a heart attack.
“I was supposed to have four, but I had a heart attack during the first one and ended up getting five sessions of chemotherapy along with 20 radiation treatments,” said Gordon.
While going through the treatments, Gordon said, it was her daughter-in-law who wanted to make sure she kept active while she was fighting the lymphoma.
“She was really adamant about keeping me busy with something,” said Gordon.
Once each bear was created, Gordon then added something personal to each one.
“On each bear, I put a little heart with their name and wrote, ‘Love, Mimi,’” said Gordon. “All of them call their bears their ‘Mimi Bears.’”
Gordon said the children were all grateful to receive their bears at Easter.
“They were happy to get them,” she said.
Once the bears were completed, Gordon said she continued to find ways to keep herself occupied even now that she is in remission.
“When I got done with that, I started another project for the daughters-in-law and daughter,” said Gordon. “I made them bags that are made with material on the inside that my mother had 70 years ago. I am also starting another project, but that’s just beginning.”
Gordon said that she is happy to be home now, living in her house in Whitehall and continuing to create new things.
“Now I am in remission and doing well,” said Gordon. “I am feeling better every day, and the hospital gave me their Purple Heart award, which they give to the people who go through the cancer treatment program.”