On Monday, a dozen quilters from the Crook County Quilt Guild will visit the St. Charles Regional Cancer Treatment Center to donate hours of their time neatly wrapped in hand-made quilts for cancer patients.
This is the fifth year the quilters have created what they call “chemo quilts” for cancer patients in Central Oregon. The idea began, said Marilyn Malloy, president of the guild, when her daughter was undergoing cancer treatment several years ago.
“My daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 2000,” Malloy said. “One of her friends made her a quilt and it brought her a lot of joy. She took it to every chemo treatment.”
At the time, Malloy said, she didn’t know how to sew. She began attending the Crook County Quilt Guild morning meetings to learn the trade so she could donate her own quilts to cancer patients. It wasn’t long until Malloy was named guild president and she convinced dozens of other quilters to join her cause.
“It takes hours and hours to put one together. To hand over 100 quilts is amazing,” said Sharon Rosen, a member of the quilting guild. “All of this is donated.”
The guild receives donated fabric, thread and discounted batting they can use to pull the quilts together. The quilts range in size and color scheme, Malloy said, but all serve the same purpose, to bring comfort to cancer patients during a difficult time. According to the Oregon Department of Human Services, about 18,000 Oregonians are diagnosed with cancer every year. About 1,100 of those patients are in the Central Oregon region, said Peggy Carey, director of the St. Charles Regional Cancer Treatment Center.
“It’s such a beautiful act of kindness and love that they are doing this,” Carey said of the quilters. “The people that receive them understand what a beautiful gift it is.”
Cascade Healthcare Community President and CEO James A. Diegel, will be on-hand Oct. 1 to receive the quilts, and said the gift of time and talent involved in donating 100 quilts is truly remarkable and overwhelmingly appreciated.