RUTLAND – Two weeks before she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Jackie Dutil purchased two pair of socks. The socks, made in Northfield by Darn Tough Vermont, were a practical necessity, but soon proved to be an inspiring choice.
“While receiving chemo treatments at the Foley Cancer, I kept noticing two little words on the toes of my socks, ‘Darn Tough,’” says Jackie. “As a recent widow and cancer patient, it seemed like the reminder I needed in my life that, I was indeed, darn tough.”
Those two words sparked in Jackie a desire to help and encourage other cancer patients facing the emotional and physical challenges of a cancer diagnosis. Jackie reached out to Darn Tough Vermont, not only share her story, but to ask for assistance in purchasing socks so that she might be able to help cancer patients at the Foley Cancer Center at Rutland Regional Medical Center where she had received treatment.
Darn Tough Vermont generously obliged by offering Jackie a discount on socks she would purchase for donation and further expanded the impact of her gift by donating 200 pair of socks. Jackie and Darn Tough Vermont gifted 200 pair to Rutland Regional and additional socks to cancer patients in other hospitals.
“We are honored to work alongside Jackie and Rutland Regional Medical Center to help support the ‘darn tough’ patients at the Foley Cancer Center,” said Ric Cabot, president and CEO of Darn Tough Vermont. “Our socks are designed to withstand the toughest journeys, which aren’t exclusively athletic endeavors. While cancer shouldn’t define anyone, the phrase ‘darn tough’ has unlimited applications and we’re privileged that it has been associated with such strong individuals.”
“This generous gift from Jackie and Darn Tough of Vermont is inspirational,” says Jessica Greco, Clinical Social Worker at the Foley Cancer Center. “As a social worker, I deal with the challenges of a cancer diagnosis firsthand and help patients learn how to cope and how to go through it, but there’s something special about a gift of support from someone who has actually been down that road. We are honored that Jackie and Darn Tough Vermont have generously donated this gift to our patients.”
With each pair of socks distributed is a note from Jackie. “I wanted to remind each person of their strengths,” she said, “whether it is their faith, talents, family or friends and I wanted them to know that I care.”