Friday, October 05, 2012

Quilters Lend a Hand!

Several years ago, when life allowed it and our bodies functioned well enough to bear it ---my DH would participate in things like cycling the MS100 to raise funds for multiple sclerosis.  I’d post a link to where pledges were being accepted and those who could, with open hearts donated in honor of those they loved who lived with this disease daily.

It’s been a few years since we have been able to participate ---DH’s plantar fasciitis  and his back issues being one of the main reasons he can’t sit on a bike for 100 miles in one stretch anymore.  Dang, we are getting older.

We also had a drive for pledges to help those in Japan after the earthquake, and so many were there to pledge funds to help those we don’t know far away.  Every bit helps.

Yesterday I got an email from a Quilter named Graciela in Argentina, telling me the basics of a story that touched my heart.

She wrote:

Hi Bonnie!! I am one of your followers from Argentina.
I follow someone´s blog in the USA and this girl needs help for her mom.  Her family is hosting an event to help fundraise.  I thought that may be if you are having quilt cam today somehow you could mention it.  Maybe people from Chicago can help, or maybe other people can help too.
http://lifeunderquilts.blogspot.com  This is the link to the blog where she explains better than me.
If you can help that would be great, if not it is ok. NO need to explain anything.
Thanks so much.
Graciela www.chezgra.blogspot.com

The first thing I did was go to Jessica’s blog and read up on the story.  What I found was a very humble young mom trying to do her best to help her mother while raising a young family, and being pregnant with her second child at the same time.


This is Jessica’s mom, Patti.

Jessica goes on to state:

Five years ago she was diagnosed with Alexander's Disease, which is a rare degenerative neurological disorder that has robbed her of ability to move.  It is a terrible, slow moving disorder where the body slowly eats away at the lining of the spinal cord, stopping signals from the brain from being able to get to the rest of the body.

I don't understand much more about the details, but I do know that for the last 3 years my mom has been confined to her bed or her motorized wheel chair, and has been completely dependent on others to provide all of her basic needs.   For the last 3 years, my dad, sister Lauren, and mom's sisters have taken turns spending the night with mom every night because the family can not afford an overnight caregiver.  Someone gets her into bed and then sleeps on the couch in my grandmother's family room, waking every 2 or 3 hours to reposition mom so she doesn't get bedsores.  In the morning (5 days a week), she has a caregiver come and assist her with bathing, dressing, and getting out of bed and back into the chair.  The caregiver usually makes breakfast and leaves after 4 hours or so.

Mom can not be left alone, so the family takes shifts to spend part of the day with her, and at night, it's the same routine.

I won't try to describe the guilt I feel at not being closer, not being able to pitch in or offer any help myself.  This post is about mom, not me.  But now it is my turn to do something.. to get the word out.
 The family has organized a fundraising benefit to be held in Chicago on October 28th. 
There will be a raffle and a silent auction, where I am donating this quilt:

Because of my work schedule this semester, I will not be able to go to the actual benefit, but if you are anywhere near the south side of Chicago and are interested in dropping by, I encourage you to go.  There will be many nice raffle prizes and the silent auction will be full of valuable items to bid on.  If you would still like to help but can not make it to Chicago that afternoon, I ask that you please visit the fundraiser's website where there is information on how to make direct donations, both electronically (Paypal or credit card) and by check.
Donate Here

My family and I thank you for any support you can give at this time.  Sometimes life isn't easy, and nobody's perfect, but if we stay positive, work together, and do what we can, we can make it through.
By This time I am bawling – there has to be something I can do to help out.  My mom had a cancer scare just over a week ago.  It was skin cancer, found on her nose, and it was worse than they thought it was.  She will be okay, but in the process it seems like they’ve removed half of her nose.  I know the guilt and hurt of being across country from my family and not being there to be able to help.
What I’m thinking as to what WE as Quilters can do is this:
We can either make a monetary donation ---which I have already done, or perhaps we can ALSO donate a quilted item for the Silent Auction for this event.
Do you have anything you can donate?  Please contact Jessica at jessunderquilts@yahoo.com
Can you make a monetary donation?  CLICK HERE

Can you donate $10.00? $20.00?  ANYTHING can help Patti's family.
Those of you IN the Chicago area, could you please put this event on your calendars and show up and support this family in person? I so would if I could be there!

PLEASE share this post with everyone you can via facebook, email, message boards -- wherever quilters gather.  We need as much help as we can get in a very short period of time because the event happens on the 28th of October.

I just know together we can do great things for a Quilter’s family who is struggling so hard to keep it all together. 


  1. Anonymous8:13 AM EDT

    Bonnie - thank you for posting about this wonderful lady. She will be in my prayers for sure.

    Sometimes, when we all have our own aches, pain and bad days (aging does this lol), we can feel terrible for ourselves. And that is ok. But taking time out to rmember, whatever i am going through in life, there is someone else that has to shoulder things that are FAR worse. And I need to keep them in prayer ... and stop feeling sorry for myself ;).

    God bless all who read here, and visit with us...and THANKS for BONNIE TOO!

  2. I follow Jessica and she really is a splendid young lady!

  3. Thank you for making us aware of this need and giving us the opportunity to help and the privilege to pray for this family.

  4. I was sad to read about your Mum, you must be so worried. I hope there will be a good outcome for her. Please let her know that someone across the other side of the world, who will never meet her, sends love and good wishes for her recovery xx

  5. Oh Bonnie! Thank you so much for helping to get the word out!
    And thank you to everyone who is able to help, every little bit counts. We are accepting donations of quilts or other items for the silent auction, and if anyone could be so generous, please send me an email and we can discuss the details. (jessunderquilts at yahoo dot com).
    The generosity of the quilting community never ceases to amaze me.
    Thank you!!

  6. Ditto on everything Kath said......hope your Mom's recovery goes well. And thanks for the links to help out Jessica's family.

  7. Bonnie--

    Thank you so much for making us aware of such a worthy cause and for allowing us opportunity to give back to our fellow quilters. We are all truly a family.

    P.S. I couldn't help but also relate to your comments on the challenges you and your DH have experienced with biking. I am a long time cyclist myself in my mid-fifties and have experienced problems that have challenged my love for cycling. I have, over the last few years, crossed over from road bikes to recumbents and couldn't be more thrilled. It has helped tremendously with back, neck/shoulder issues that I was plagued with. My most recent bike is a Bachetta Giro 20 ATT....and I LOVE IT!! Tell you husband to take a look at recumbents, it may just be what he is looking for.

  8. Bonnie, I have met Jessica, and she is a living doll! She's a great person, and I'm so glad you shared this. Thanks. Jessica's family is in my prayers.

  9. Anonymous2:15 PM EDT

    I am Jessica's younger sister and you have NO idea how much your generous act has touched myself, family and Project Patti team. Thank You from the bottom of my heart Bonnie for publishing the story and link for the Project Patti benefit.



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