Peri-Sue Zausner is a resourceful grandma with a great sense of humor. Seven years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer and during her recovery in the hospital, she knew that hugs and laughter made her feel better. Whenever friends called, they always told her: Give yourself a hug!
As she lay in her hospital bed, she thought: Wouldn’t it be great to give someone a hug when you can’t be there in person? That’s when she came up with the idea for a Hug-E-Gram. When she got home, she sewed a plush soft set of arms that she could wrap around herself. She imagined closing her eyes and feeling the support and comfort of a hug from her husband who often traveled for his business.
The hug really worked and she always felt better. But Zausner didn’t dare tell her husband for fear he would think she was being silly. She thought she had kept her secret from him until one day she went to wrap the arms around her and noticed a tiny audio speaker with a button hanging on a rubber band from the hug. She pushed the button and out came her husband’s voice saying, You are the best, I love you, and I think the hug is a great idea!
I felt goose bumps up and down my spine, and I broke down and started to cry! I wanted to freeze that moment in time and be able to share this feeling with other cancer patients and so the Hug-E-Gram was born!
She started thinking about other people who would benefit from a Hug-E-Gram: Mothers whose children are living away from home and won’t be there to celebrate on Mother’s Day; the brave men and women who are serving overseas and won’t be home for the holidays; or grandparents living miles away from their grandchildren who can’t afford a visit. She realized that hugs were the medicine for the soul and everybody needs one! “Though we are often so many miles apart,” Zausner says, “I felt Hug-E-Gram could bring people closer together.”
She created the Hug-E-Gram to be silly, fun, playful and to make people laugh. But more importantly, it’s a way to send a loving gift that says I’m thinking of you!
Zausner hopes to create a foundation to help breast cancer survivors one day. In the mean time, she gives back to the community by donating a portion of every sale to cancer organizations that are making a difference.
Hug-E-Gram is a sponsor of this blog.