Comfort Quilts spreads warmth for cancer patients

Alycia Douglass
Comfort Quilts spreads warmth for cancer patients
Lorraine Keller shows off her work at the Cornwall Comfort Quilt meeting this Wednesday

CORNWALL, Ontario – The fight against cancer may be difficult, but it’s a battle we all share. At least, that’s the way Janice Valade of Cornwall Comfort Quilts thinks about the illness.

The non-profit organization formed in Sept. 2013, and has since dedicated countless hours to sewing handmade quilts for cancer patients. Valade hopes that the group’s altruistic undertaking will help to bring physical, mental, and spiritual comfort to those affected by cancer.

“When I first started, I said ‘I want to quilt, but I want to do it for someone,’” said Valade. Now, at 43 members and growing, the organization can do just that.

The group meets on the last Wednesday of each month, where they work on quilts, socialize, and stay up to speed with any recent developments. Most recently, Valade and her team decided to hold an open house to showcase the fruits of their labour.

By their recent fortune, they may also get the opportunity to exhibit their quilts with the Centre Culturel de Cornwall, also located in the former Cornwall Community Hospital on Second Street. When Valade mentioned that the group would be hosting an open house, the group’s coordinator, Suzanne Villeneuve suggested combining the two events.

The group invites local artists to showcase their work, which will be on display for the entire month. Villeneuve says that due to complications, the artist formerly slated to exhibit their work in March had to postpone.

“It became available, and I think that quilting is a beautiful, traditional art,” said Villeneuve. “Unfortunately, not a lot of art galleries think about showing it, so it stays in the home.”

“What is even better is that the date would be March 8th, which is International Women’s Day,” said Villeneuve.

All of Cornwall Comfort Quilts are delivered to recipients with a label, which reads ‘someone cares’ – a small message of hope in difficult times. Villeneuve says that when she sat down with Valade to discuss the prospect of curating an exhibition, they agreed that it would an appropriate title for the display.

The organization relies on the support of volunteers and donations, which help with the purchase of cotton for the quilts, batting, flannel, and any other related item needed for making these quilts.

“People don’t realize that sometimes, little things can make a huge difference in the lives of cancer patients,” said Villeneuve.

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