Cancer quilt is message of hope, on display at UVRMC

2011-12-26T00:01:21Z 2011-12-27T03:42:25Z Cancer quilt is message of hope, on display at UVRMCPaige Fieldsted - Daily Herald Daily Herald
December 26, 2011 12:01 am  • 

PROVO -- For the next several days the decor at the Women's Center at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center will be a little different.

Hanging in the waiting area is "Pamela's Quilt," a pink patchwork quilt made by women from throughout the world as a symbol of hope in the fight against breast cancer.

The quilt was won in a raffle by former Provo resident Lori Orton, but instead of keeping it for herself Orton wanted to share the quilt with women around the world.

"The quilt was made for breast cancer awareness and when I looked at it I thought, 'This doesn't belong to me. It needs to be shared,' " Orton said. "If it just sits in my house what good does that do?"

Orton named the quilt "Pamela's Quilt" in honor of her sister-in-law who lost her battle with breast cancer several years ago. Orton has arranged to have the quilt travel around the world, stopping at women's and cancer treatment centers around the globe. She says after living internationally for many years she has friends and acquaintances from many countries and hopes the quilt will never have to be mailed but rather transported through a network of women.

Provo is the first stop on the quilt's world tour because this is where Pamela was born and raised.

"I think just knowing that Pamela was born here and that is why they chose to start here with us is special," said Kelley Gilson, clinic manager of the Women's Center. "It is a wonderful opportunity to spread awareness and hope and it is an awesome thing for us to be able to start the quilt on its world tour."

Orton says she expects the quilt to travel for at least a year or two and that when it is done it will be hung at the cancer center in Bellevue, Wash. where Pamela was treated for breast cancer.

Traveling along with the quilt is a book where women can write messages of hope for others to read. A few of the messages left by women in Utah County say the quilt is beautiful and inspiring.

"People comment on the quilt every day," said Jessica Foit, a receptionist at the Women's Center. "It is a positive display of hope and a comforting thing for those battling breast cancer to see."

The money raised from raffling the quilt was used to buy a portable mammogram machine that is being used in remote parts of Indonesia where women don't typically have access to health care.

Orton says she wants the quilt to send a message to women around the world who are fighting breast cancer.

"It is a good reminder that breast cancer affects everyone, it doesn't matter where in the world you live. It is something women can all relate with and unite against," Orton said. "I want the quilt to give hope and share love and remind everyone that it is a sisterhood and we are not alone in the fight."

To read the entire story behind the quilt or to request the quilt make a stop at a hospital near you, visit "Pamela's Quilt" on Facebook.

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