Cancer Patient’s Mother Spent Last 20 Years Sewing for Other Sick Children
Story originally published by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Terry and Mary Stevens were dealt a hard hand when the couple's son was diagnosed with a form of leukemia in 1996. The then-four-year-old endured many exhausting hours of doctor visits, hospital stays, and treatments. It was during this time that Mary Stevens decided to take on a new project: creating a quilt.
Her first quilt was given to a little girl in the hospital just over 20 years ago. Since that day, Mary has made approximately 1,000 quilts for children at the Aflac Cancer Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, the hospital her son received his treatments at all those years ago. Due to confidentiality, the only information she receives about a patient is their name, age, and every so often an interest of the child. Mary then gets to work creating and customizing each quilt with various patterns and the child's name plastered across the front.
Her son, Michael, knows first-hand the comfort these quilts bring to the kids and their families. "You spend most of your time alone in your little room and it's cold so infections can't grow," he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It's nice to have something to keep you warm. It's even nicer to know other people are there for you, even if you don't know who they are."
Now 24-years-old and cancer free, Michael is in medical school working towards becoming a pediatric oncologist.
Mary's passion continues to thrive and she says at no point does she plan on stopping. "I've said I would always do this until there's a cure and I'm not needed anymore."