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‘Warrior Quilts’ Drape Patients In Love, Support

Photo by Derek Redd Bonnie Funkhouser, marketing specialist for WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital, constructs a quilt square that will be sewn into a “warrior quilt” that will be sent to a breast cancer treatment center to show support for patients there. The squares were made during a daylong event at the Walmart Supercenter at The Highlands.

TRIADELPHIA — Individually, they were small squares of fabric, stamped with ink and few words written on them. They soon will come together as a way to show breast cancer patients that they’re supported and loved.

People who walked into the Walmart Supercenter at The Highlands earlier this month had the chance to take a detour near the entrance and create a quilt square for “warrior quilts.” Those quilts, once sewn together, will be delivered to cancer treatment centers throughout the region.

The event — sponsored by Walmart, Neighborhood Ford Store and Jim Robinson Ford — was held Friday to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Jim Robinson Ford is among the 80 regional Ford dealers who make up the Neighborhood Ford Store.

The square construction station at the Highlands Walmart Supercenter was filled with fabric squares, decorative stamps and pens and markers to write words of support for breast cancer patients.

Jim Robinson, president of Jim Robinson Ford, said it was great watching people stop and spend a few minutes constructing a quilt square.

“Time’s our most valuable resource,” Robinson said. “People take the time to fill out these squares. The quilters volunteer their time to put together these wonderful quilts. We’re all part of one community and it’s important for anybody going through this to know that we’re pulling for them, that the whole community is behind them.”

Brianne Utt, radiology manager at WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital, knows personally what those quilts mean to breast cancer patients. Both her grandmother and sister fight breast cancer and she sees patients coming through the hospital each day.

“I know firsthand that things like this mean a lot,” she said. “It gives them comfort. It lets them know they’re not alone. It brings awareness to breast cancer.”

Those who couldn’t make Friday’s quilt event will have another chance to participate Oct. 7 and 8 at Jim Robinson Ford at The Highlands.

The event’s sponsors hope that, on top of showing support for breast cancer patients, others will see those quilt squares and remember to stay vigilant against breast cancer for themselves, perhaps scheduling a mammogram.

Robinson said that providing comfort for those going through the difficult process of cancer treatment is of the utmost importance.

“This is a disease that eventually touches everybody, whether it’s a family member or friend,” he said. “To know there’s still a group that’s there that took the time to think of you specifically, I think that’s very important. You know that we’re with you.”

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