The Slovenia Times

Bottles of Hope



Diane Gregoire is a cancer survivor and polymer clay artist. While she was in hospital she found that for patients undergoing cancer treatment, the cure can be as frustrating, exhausting and menacing as the disease. One day during her chemo treatment she noticed that the nurses threw away tons of small, glass medication bottles. After making sure they were non-toxic, she decorated them with colourful polymer clay and made tops for them. She turned chemotherapy bottles into expressive works of art. Diane called them "Bottles of Hope" and started giving them away to friends and patients. They seemed fascinated with the clay and the colours, and for a while, the bottles made people forget that they were in hospital. Only Bestowed! The gesture of making and giving colourful little bottles soon started to spread around the world and has recently come to Slovenia. Cancer patients should make a wish, write it down, put it in the bottle, and the wish will come true. The Bottles of Hope should never be sold; they are to be given freely to cancer patients to bring hope into their lives. Public Awareness In Slovenia the bottles are made by volunteers, who got together on the internet forum called "The Box of Ideas". Any method can be used to cover the bottles and produce unique designs for the pieces of art. "I completed my cancer treatment six months ago," said Kristina Modic, a cancer survivor and one of the initiators of this project in Slovenia. "I can only imagine, how happy I would have been if someone had visited me in the hospital at that time, offered me some compassionate words and such a bottle of hope," she added. "By making the bottles we are informing the wider public about this disease and the more we talk about cancer, the better," say the volunteers from the internet forum. "And that is our purpose - to awaken the people," they add. Extended Action The volunteers make the bottles at home, at their meetings and at workshops all around Slovenia. They invite everyone to join the project by making colourful little sculptures and bringing hope to patients' lives. "First we made a smaller amount of bottles. But this did not work. If you give a bottle of hope to one cancer patient you simply must give one to every patient", one of the volunteers, Tanja Benedik, is convinced. There are approximately 1,000 cancer patients currently receiving treatment in Slovenia and the volunteers have decided to make a bottle for each one of them. So far they have completed around 400 Bottles of Hope. The first bottles will be given to the youngest cancer patients at the Pediatric Clinic in the middle of February. The action will end during Cancer Awareness Week, from March 6th to March 11th, when the rest of the bottles will be distributed to cancer patients.


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