Senior creates care packages, helps chemotherapy patients


Hitesh Patel

Seniors Aesha Amin, Rutvi Patel, and Sydney Ploeger finish assembling the care packages.

Coral Maxey, Staff Writer

Senior Rutvi Patel made and delivered 25 care packages to chemotherapy patients as a part of her senior math and science academy project.

According to academy coordinator Allison Graves, Rutvi wanted to see how chemotherapy affects a patients’ quality of life, and she shadowed under Dr. Valiant Tan and his PA Aimee Gannon at Sentara Greenbrier HealthPlex.

“I want to be a psycho-oncologist and work with patients undergoing palliative care,” said Rutvi. “I have been interested in studying cancer ever since learning about cancer cells in my sophomore magnet biology class. I went on to take AP biology my junior year. I knew I wanted to go into the oncology field, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do specifically, so I thought shadowing in a hospital would allow me to figure that out.”

According to Graves, Rutvi started a GoFundMe campaign to acquire the money to create the care packages.

Seniors Aesha Amin and Sydney Ploeger both helped Rutvi make and deliver all the packages to the hospital.

“Part of the senior project is to have a capstone product, and I knew that I wanted to do something to help the patients,” said Rutvi. “During my experience, I saw what they were going through, and I saw how incredibly hard they were fighting. I wanted to do something to make them smile, even if it was just giving them some things to make their treatment a little more bearable.”