11-year-old Inspired Into Action by Grandmother’s Bravery Through Cancer


Sally de Lipkau knows what it’s like to fight for your life. Surviving six cancers in 36 years, Sally is a tireless volunteer at the Renown Institute for Cancer. Sally couldn’t be more proud of her granddaughter Lizzie, who is helping to comfort cancer patients at her grandmother’s side. 

Helping cancer patients is not something an 11-year-old-girl often thinks about. But Lizzie Young’s desire to help cancer patients runs in the family. That’s because her grandmother, Sally de Lipkau, is an extraordinary woman who has dedicated her life to helping people who are going through cancer treatment. 

After receiving a sewing machine from her grandmother on her 10th birthday, Lizzie Young began making small pillows to give to breast cancer patients at the Sally de Lipkau Resource Center. The center is named in honor of Lizzie’s grandmother, a tireless cancer support advocate and group leader who has survived six cancers over the course of 36 years.

The type of pillows that Lizzie sews for breast cancer patients are important because they protect and cushion the area where a woman undergoes surgery or a port where they receive chemotherapy treatment. 

“When cancer patients use my pillows, it makes me feel good,” Lizzie says. “It makes me see that they are still fighting. They’re still strong and it makes me see that there is still hope.” 

Grandmother Sally says the pillows provide a lot of comfort to breast cancer patients. “The pillows are used after they have their surgery, to pad the seat belt against their chest or port where they are going to get their chemo, or under the lymph nodes for extra padding,” Sally says.

Lizzie and Sally are very close, spending every Wednesday afternoon together after school. It’s those afternoon visits to craft stores that spurred Lizzie’s interest in sewing. “I’m very proud of her,” says Sally.

To learn more about support services for cancer patients, survivors and their families, please visit the Renown Institute for Cancer


  1. Dear Sally and Lizzy, You are both beautiful and inspirational individuals. Thank you for the love you provide to each other and for the help, love and hope you give others. You are amazing. Sincerely, Chris Murphy