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Cancer patients are warmed by volunteers' generosity and talent

August 30, 2010
St. Mary's Regional Cancer Center recently honored a group for bringing great comfort to cancer patients. They aren't physicians, nurses, researchers, or technicians. They are quilters, a group of 12 called Caring Hands and Hearts, organized by Ceola McDonough. These generous ladies raise money for quilt materials by selling their handmade items at craft fairs. Long-time quilter McDonough started making quilts for St. Mary's patients in 2002 after her husband's cancer diagnosis. When her nimble fingers could no longer keep up with demand, McDonough invited a friend to help. More friends followed. Caring Hands and Hearts presented St. Mary's with quilt number 1,300 August 18.

"Our patients tell us they are deeply touched that so many people gave their time and talent to make their beautiful quilt," says Samantha Moe, public relations representative. In addition to being a heartwarming gift and a literal security blanket, the quilts keep patients warm during their chemotherapy treatments. "One recipient told us her quilt is the one thing she would save if her house was on fire," Moe says. "Patients say they can feel the love in every stitch."