Metro mom making reusable toilet paper to survive shortage and help a special cause

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — It seems just about everywhere you go, stores are out of toilet paper. But a metro woman has come up with alternative, and there’s more than one reason behind it.

Cherish O’Dell spends three to four hours a day sewing what she calls “reusable toilet paper.”

“You never run out,” she said.

Cherish got the idea after seeing multiple reports about a toilet paper shortage in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“A lot of people, it’s a joke,” she said.

However, Cherish isn’t doing this for herself. The 31-year-old is doing it help her twin brother, Alan.

“It took a really long time to recover,” she said.

Alan has epilepsy and has suffered violent seizures over the years, so bad that twice he broke his back in six different places. His most recent seizure in December led to swelling on his head, according to his sister.

“[The doctors] need to do more medical testing to figure out why his seizures are so violent enough that they are breaking his bones. That’s not normal,” she said.

Cherish has been raising money for her brother’s medical testing for months, but only recently started making the reusable toilet paper, which she said cuts down on waste and expenses.

The mom of a toddler said they can also be used as baby wipes – another rarity in stores right now.

“If you can’t find toilet paper. This is a great alternative because you have it available, and it’s machine washable,” she explained.

Cherish said if you would have asked her a decade ago where she saw herself in 2020, it would have never been in front of a sewing machine making reusable toilet paper. But unusual times call for unconventional solutions.

“You really have to be in survival mode, especially for the ones you love, and I take that seriously,” she said.

Cherish said she uses hyper-allergenic materials to make these. They come in single ply or rolls — like toilet paper — that snap when you pull them. They cost between $15 and $35.

You can reach Cherish by clicking here.

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