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Quilting Group Provides Comfort to Community Members and Cancer Patients

May 12, 2010

Baystate Mary Lane Hospital Quilting Support Group put the finishing touches on quilts to be donated to community members undergoing cancer treatment.  Left to right,  Claudia Benoit, LICSW; Tina Bessette; Cindy Obrzut, RN; Mary Cote; and Jane Agnew.  




Sewing machines hum and scissors work feverishly when members of the Baystate Mary Lane Hospital Quilting Support Group meet at the hospital. Soon colorful quilts will reflect a personal story and the passion of the group as together the support group members work to assemble several quilts to be donated to provide comfort to community members undergoing cancer treatment.


Mary Cote of Belchertown, Cynthia Obrzut of Warren, Jane Agnew and Tina Bessette of Ware have volunteered countless hours as together they lovingly made the colorful quilts.  “Cancer has touched us all in so many ways, sharing the company and comradely of this support group has helped us all heal,” said Jane Agnew.  Amid the Log Cabin and Crazy Quilt designs, the group members work thoughtfully as they construct the beautiful quilt blocks while other members’ line and finish the quilts.  Each complete piece reflecting a personal story of how their live have been touched with cancer and each stitch a healing moment for the workers. 


Since September of 2009, quilters from the Circle of Angels Quilting Support Group, formed to offer quilts to provide comfort those touched by cancer.  The group facilitator Claudia Benoit, LICSW, Oncology Social worker continues the work in memory of patient, friend and avid quilter Judith Samson. 


Nancy Price, RN BSN, OCN and supervisor of the Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Mary Lane Hospital, said “These quilts are a reflection of the life and times of the members who attend the Quilting Support Group and the journey they have made personally or with a loved one.  It is an inspiration to see people who have been touched by cancer reach out to others and find healing.  Many new friendships have formed as the members find comfort and happiness in the work they accomplish together,” notes Price.


“Quilting experience is not necessary to participate in this free support group,” said Claudia Benoit, LICSW, Oncology Social Worker.  “It is designed for cancer patients, survivors, families and friends to provide a forum where they can enjoy quilting as they receive support, find comfort and share encouragement with each other. We invite community member to join us,” notes Benoit.  


The Quilting Support Group for those touched by Cancer meet the first and third Tuesday of the month 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm the Community Health Information Center Conference Room located on the first floor of the hospital.  For more information contact Claudia Benoit, LICSW, Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Mary Lane Hospital at 967-2245.