Today was the goal date for finishing my quilt for child cancer, and today I completed the last of the hand sewing needed to secure the sleeve for hanging it up.. so other than a little brush down to get rid of the fluffy stuff ... I think I'm done!
I will give you fair warning, the following is a little long, on a fairly serious topic, so make a cup of tea or coffee, or just skim down to the pictures :)
This is "Ribbons of Hope"
The making of this quilt was a journey lasting (virtually) my whole life, though only scratching the surface of what cancer means to me and mine, I hope it symbolises some of the things "we" forget about when it comes to cancer. For me, its the faces of the kids who sat next to me in our hospital beds who didn't make it, the days I didn't understand why I needed a humongous jab in my butt because I had next to no immunity, the helplessness my family must have felt when they had to place their faith in doctors they'd only just met.
The main thing you need in this situation is Hope
Hope that the medicine will work, hope that your body will respond to the treatment.
After you or your family have all the information laid out in front of them, all you have left is hope.
Hope that the decisions you've made will ultimately have a good outcome.
As my mum said, and she would know better than myself, cancer is a "one day at a time" healing process.
I love that many types of cancers are getting more airtime these days in media, without the medical research and dedicated support organisations many patients and families would be, to be blunt, at a complete loss at to what to do with themselves after receiving this sort of news.
The Oncology department at, the then, Princess Mary Children's Hospital (later the Starship Children's Hospital) in Auckland, NZ gave me and my family the treatment, advice and support I needed to ultimately beat Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
The Child Cancer Foundation played a major part in supporting my family through one of toughest things you can go through. They filled the gap with understanding (and later, I believe, love) for families like mine that were, at the drop of a hat, propelled into an alternate reality of having a "cancer kid"
The ribbons on the quilt are made from Canteen bandannas. I'd been collecting these bandannas (sold for fundraising for Teens with Cancer) for quite a few years, but I was undecided on what to do with them until recently.
The black ribbons at the end of each row acknowledges that not all of us made it through, the red sashing for me symbolises blood, in the case of my ALL, it is the now healthy blood I have free of cancer.
The next photo is for my colleague who, after I'd mentioned I was fundraising for the Child Cancer Foundation by making a quilt as I was unable to grow a Mo (moustache) for Movember, quickly rebutted with "Maybe you could ninja a mo in there somewhere" .. so how could I refuse! On the back.. is the mo!
My next step is to contact my old doctor and see how I can donate this to the ward that now sits at Starship Children's Hospital. This is my shout out to Dr Jane Skeen, Dr David Mauger and from the Child Cancer Foundation, Janette Falconer. You made a difference bigger than you'll ever know.
In future posts I'll go over some of the "How I made it" but for now I'll leave you with a close up of the quilt label, I think it sums up fairly well what this quilt means to me.
Also check out the quilts page on my website