A Scarlet Thread quilt shop employee, Mary Mellott, said she was inspired to make the 95-inch-square fabric art, which is about the size of a queen-size comforter, by meeting a cancer survivor at work.
“Last year, one of our customers, KellyDee Guess, happened to come up to me and asked if the quilt shop would make a cancer survivor quilt,” she said. “As a team captain for a Relay for Life team with the McDonough Presbyterian Church, I thought it would be a great fundraiser opportunity.”
After presenting the idea to her team, Mellott began to craft the quilt and collect money for the cause by asking $25 for each survivor’s name embroidered on the quilt.
“Eventually we expanded the quilt to include people in remembrance,” she said about patients who died.
Each of the 128 names is embroidered in the same color as cancer ribbons
For example, a pink name signifies a person with breast cancer while a white name represents a person with lung cancer.
To support the 2014 event’s theme of Be a Hero, Mellott stiched on fabric imprinted with comic book quotes associated with superheroes.
Mellott said she joined the Relay for Life effort after learning about it from her good friend and teammate Nola Crane.
“Once you get involved, you learn that many of the funds raised go to local programs,” Crane said.
She said they include the Road to Recovery program, a nonprofit made of volunteers who drive patients to and from appointments, and the Hope Lodge, a place for patients and family members to stay during the treatment process.
The event will be held from Friday at 7 p.m. to Saturday at 7 a.m. at Union Grove High School track, with participants staying up all night to make the point that cancer never sleeps.
To learn more about the event, visit www.relayforlife.org/henryga.
To host the quilt on its yearlong, countywide tour, which will include the church, the McDonough public library and Piedmont Henry Hospital, or to honor a hero on the 2015 quilt, contact Mellott at email@example.com.