News from Illinois CancerCare

N95 Masks Needed!

3/23/2020 UPDATE | With the current shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Illinois CancerCare is accepting donations of PPE, specifically N95 Masks. We are also accepting new/sealed packages of disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, non-latex powder-free gloves (all sizes), and non-latex powder-free sterile gloves (all sizes).

A donation drop off location has been set up near the back entrance of our Peoria facility:

Please send your address and a list of the supplies delivered to We appreciate our community showing up for our patients and staff at this time of need!

3/22/2020 UPDATE! | A big THANK YOU to all who took the time to make/donate face masks for our patients and staff. We received an overwhelming response to our request for help in just a couple of days! It seems we are all set for the time being but will reach out again if we need more later. In the meantime, please contact your local hospital or other healthcare provider to see if they could benefit from your generosity. Again, THANK YOU – we appreciate our communities showing up at this time of need.

With the mask shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking anyone who can sew to donate your extra time at home to making masks for our patients and team of healthcare providers.

All masks will be disinfected before use and washed daily. Any surplus masks will be distributed to other organizations in need.

Below are instructions provided by Deaconess.


  • Cotton fabric
  • Rope elastic (beading cord or 1/8″ flat elastic will work)
  • Cut the elastic 7” long and tie a knot at each end (DO NOT knot the ends of the flat)


  1. Put right sides of cotton fabric together – cut 9″x6″
  2. Starting at the center of the bottom edge, sew to the first corner, stop. Sew the elastic with the edge out into the corner. A few stitches forward and back will hold this.
  3. Sew to the next corner, stop, and bring the other end of the same elastic to the corner and sew a few stitches forward and back.
  4. Now sew across that top of the mask to the next corner. Again put an elastic with the edge out.
  5. Sew to the next corner and sew in the other end of the same elastic.
  6. Sew across the bottom leaving about 1.5” to 2” open. Stop, cut the thread. Turn inside out.
  7. Pin 3 tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are the same direction
  8. Sew around the edge of the mask twice.