11-year-old cancer survivor from Waukesha sews safety masks for hospital and community

Posted at 5:23 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 18:53:10-04

WAUKESHA — An 11-year-old cancer survivor from Waukesha is giving back to the community that helped save his life by sewing medical masks.

Collin Anderson started sewing these masks a few weeks ago after his mom showed him a video a hospital posted about how to make them at home in the proper way.

"I showed him, and in typical Collin fashion, it took him about 10 seconds, and he had his first mask made," Amanda Anderson, his mom, said.

Collin learned how to sew while at summer school three years ago with the Waukesha School District.

In the past few weeks, since he has started sewing medical masks, he has made about 20 or 30 masks, and the orders continue to pile up from community members.

His ultimate goal is to give them to Children's Wisconsin, which is where doctors helped him beat cancer.

Safety masks Collin Anderson has made in the past few weeks.

"I think its good to give back, and then when you do, you feel better about it because you are donating and helping people instead of making money off it," Collin Anderson said.

Anderson was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma when he was four years old.

"I pretty much lived there for two years or something," he said.

Collin Anderson rings the bell at Children's Wisconsin after beating cancer.

After doctors saved his life, he wants to return the favor and give them something that might help them survive during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Because people right now need masks," Collin said.

It's important to note that the CDC said the effectiveness of homemade masks is uncertain.

"In settings where face masks are not available, HCP (Health Care Personnel) might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face," the CDC website said.

Children's Wisconsin is accepting homemade mask donations and even has a guide to people how to make them properly.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip

Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

Latest news and headlines here.