Donating wedding gown preserves warm memories

Brides ProjectEditor’s note: Cancer touches the lives of so many people, whether as patients, or as loved ones and friends. It’s not uncommon to look for ways to give back to the institutions and people who provide cancer care. Here is a touching story about someone who gave from the heart, preserving warm memories in the process. It comes from one of our partners in supportive care, the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor.

There’s a certain helplessness that comes with watching a loved one receive a cancer diagnosis and undergo treatment. No matter how much help we provide, often we wish we could do still more. For Kim Andrus, doing a bit more meant donating her wedding dress to The Brides Project in Ann Arbor, a nonprofit bridal salon operated by the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor.

CSC’s breadth of services and mission appealed to Andrus, who donated her dress as a way to both honor a beloved aunt and avoid merely storing her gown in the basement or attic. Knowing proceeds from the sale of her dress “would go to help people with cancer, like my Aunt Johanna – this touched me in a very personal way. She contributed toward our wedding and did so much for me during her entire life. It’s fitting that I can now give something back to help other facing the same situation,” says Andrus.

The CSC offers a wide range of programs – support groups, educational workshops, social activities, and healthy lifestyle classes such as meditation, yoga and tai chi – all free to cancer patients, their families and loved ones. Programming is made possible through projects and events like The Brides Project, Strides for Hope, Amazing Race and local partnerships with U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor.

The Brides Project boutique, located at 1677 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor, is open by appointment and staffed entirely by volunteers.

Take the next step:

  • Read about The Bride’s Project 60 IN 60 Campaign.
  • Learn about services available and volunteer opportunities at the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor.
  • More volunteer opportunities are available through the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Volunteer and Community Resource Program.

CarolRuggCarol Rugg is a two-time cancer survivor. A long-time resident of Ann Arbor, she recently retired after a long career in nonprofit marketing and communications. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Cancer Support Community of Ann Arbor.



Cancer-center-informal-vertical-sig-150x150The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan according to U.S. News & World Report. Our multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.