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Mom honors daughter she lost to cancer by making PPE during pandemic

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    DANVERS, Massachusetts (WBZ) — A company that formed out of a mother’s desire to help her daughter.

“In 2011, my daughter and I were both diagnosed with two different forms of cancer. I was diagnosed in January with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and she was diagnosed that May with neuroblastoma,” said Kezia Fitzgerald, co-founder and chief innovation officer at CareAline.

During treatment, Kezia Fitzgerald would often see her infant daughter Saoirse play with the PICC line in her arm. So, she created a sleeve to help keep the line in place.

“We started to realize that this wasn’t just a problem that we as our individual family was having, that this was something that really went to all of these different patients that we were meeting,” said Fitzgerald.

Sadly, Saoirse passed away in 2011. Kezia decided she wanted to use her experience as a caregiver, and as a two-time cancer survivor herself, to help others, founding CareAline the following year.

“We wanted to make sure that we weren’t just sitting on something that would help; we wanted to actually let it help,” said Kezia.

“I feel like she can speak to them on a different level because she knows exactly how they feel, having that line,” said Erin Nadeau, director of operations at CareAline.

In addition to producing PICC line sleeves and central line wraps, CareAline pivoted during the pandemic to make reusable PPE, including gowns and masks.

“We test out to 100 washes, so they can be used 100 times, so one of our gowns is equal to 100 disposables,” said Fitzgerald.

CareAline products are manufactured at a facility in Fall River, where they ship to hospitals, schools, and people all over the country.

“Just sort of that feeling of really knowing that we’re making an impact not only on their health and their healing but just on their peace of mind and their ability to be more normal,” said Fitzgerald.

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