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Sabinal Group Spreads Love with Quilts for Cancer Patients

Publication: Uvalde Leader-News

The act of giving without expecting anything in return is an expression of kindness in its purest form and an often undervalued aspect of the commercialized Valentine’s Day holiday. Seven humble and modest women who compose the Sabinal Quilters’ Club employed this very expression Thursday, Feb. 14 at the Texas Oncology, part of the Kate Marmion Regional Cancer Medical Center in Uvalde.

Arlene Ryan and Mary Anne Flores, quilters representing the group, came in person to make the donation. As the patchwork quilts were carried into the treatment room, it was immediately evident that this act of kindness had created an everlasting memory for the patients.

The quilts were displayed so the patients could choose a quilt of their favorite colors. Thelma Palma, a patient receiving treatment Thursday afternoon, requested a red quilt, to match her living room. Palma lives in Del Rio with her husband, Dominic, and commutes to the cancer center in Uvalde, approximately every 21 days. She was happy to receive the blanket, as she often gets cold during treatment.

In total, the group donated 28 lap quilts, all of different sizes. The group takes into consideration physical attributes of the patients, making quilts specifically cut for a small child or a person in a wheelchair.

Quilter Mary Ann Flores said that it took the group one year to make the hand-made quilts. Flores is a 1968 graduate of Sabinal High School, and she learned how to sew in her home economics class. She has been sewing ever since.
Quilter Arlene Ryan of Knippa, whose daughter is also a member of the quilting club, said the fabric to create the quilts was all donated to the group, some in tribute to loved ones lost to cancer.

Fabric is a costly medium, and Ryan stated that one lap quilt utilizes around $200 worth of fabric. As a result, the group is always welcoming more fabric donations. The group meets monthly at the Sabinal Public Library, and Ryan said anyone wishing to donate can take the fabric to the library during regular business hours.

Philanthropy is a focal point for this group, and they have been making annual donations to area organizations for several years. In addition to the cancer center, the group donates 200 pillowcases to the Big Springs Ranch for children in Leakey, and in the past they have had prize drawings for quilts.

Proceeds from those drawings have benefited the Sabinal Emergency Medical Services and the Sabinal Public Library.
Ryan said that the group had to stop hosting the prize drawing because their group has shrunk over the years, and there’s not enough women to wrangle the responsibilities of hosting a drawing.

Group members not able to attend the donation ceremony included Mary Louise Rodgers, Jolene Berendt, Alma Martinez, Georgina Turner and June Edwards.

This story originally appeared on Uvalde Leader-News