I didn't want to let the month go by without mentioning that October is breast cancer awareness month. Yes, I know I DID mention the fundraising cookbook that The Calico Horse was selling to raise money, but I wanted to say a little more.
When I first started quilting, a gal I worked with, Linda, was diagnosed with breast cancer. There were actually three of us in the office at that time who were fairly new quilters. We had been quilting long enough, though, to know that quilts are a wonderful source of comfort, so we decided to make Linda a quilt. Two of us were pretty decent at applique, so we appliqued a tree of life as the central panel of the quilt. The third gal was less intimidated by the actual quilting process, so she quilted it. All three of us worked on the piecing, and we incorporated blocks signed by everyone in the office. Needless to say, Linda was very moved when we presented her with the finished quilt.
Linda had known she had a lump in her breast for some time. It wasn't the first time she found a lump. The first time, the lump turned out to be a fibrous, benign tumor, but during surgery to remove it, her heart stopped on the operating table. Of course, the surgeons restarted her heart and she was fine, but the experience of nearly losing her life for a benign tumor made her hesitate too long to see her doctor about the new lump she found.
Linda battled cancer for two or three years before losing the fight. That year, the year she passed away, I made another quilt connected to breast cancer--that one went to raise money for the cause. Here in the Sacramento area, every three years Sutter Medical Foundation auctions quilts made and donated by quilters all over Northern California and beyond. The money raised goes to breast cancer research and patient treatment at Sutter. Sutter recently announced plans for the next auction to be held in October 2008. They will start collecting quilts in January with a September 1, 2008, deadline. If you would like to read more about the auction and/or are interested in making and donating a quilt during the next year, click HERE. And don't forget to get your mammogram.