It is amazing how a simple act of kindness made by someone who cares, can profoundly change another’s experience.
While attending an art therapy course offered by Cancer Care Manitoba, another attendee shared a story. She described how touched she had been when during her first chemotherapy treatment, a nurse offered her a beautiful handmade quilt. The quilt had been made by a lady in our very own city, Winnipeg! From that day on, the quilt accompanied this patient at every chemotherapy treatment.
Having been a cancer patient myself, I recall how frightened I felt at first and how chills ran through me during my first chemotherapy treatment. Fortunately, my nurse thoughtfully wrapped a warm blanket around me. This gesture soothed my soul and helped calm my anxieties. That’s when it occurred to me that my mother-in-law could possibly help other chemotherapy patients.
The woman I’m referring to is Estelle Perrin. Back then, she was 91 years old. To this day she lives in her own senior`s complex in a small French community. Music, needlepoint and knitting are passionate hobbies that have kept her youthful spirit alive.
Over the years, her quick, nimble fingers and sharp eyes have knitted numerous woollen socks, scarves, blankets and Afghans. She has provided beautiful needlepoint pictures for her children, grandchildren and friends. We all cherish them so much. She often checks with her family to see if anyone needs extra woollen scarves, socks, or mittens for the coming winter months.
I decided to ask my mother-in-law if she would be interested in making Afghans for patients at Cancer Care if I provided the wool. She immediately agreed to help. I then contacted a member of the Chemo Savvy Dragon Boat Team and asked for assistance. It did not take very long before I received a call from Chemo Savvy and a large bag of wool was brought to my home. Family members also purchased wool to keep up with Estelle. She has knitted approximately 40 blankets over the past several years. I hope the patients who received them felt the same love, support and comfort, just as I had.
Estelle will be 96 years old this year and her knitting has slowed down. She is focusing on knitting baby blankets and booties for her 3rd great grandchild.
By Linda Perrin