Baptist Employee Makes Blanket to Honor Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

Oct 30 • 2015

Areatha Thompson is known for the beautiful blankets she embroiders for people who have lost loved ones. This year, she chose to use her talents to honor women who were impacted by breast cancer. At first, she asked the women at her church to sign up and share people they knew who had been affected by the disease. She planned to take those names and put them on a t-shirt to wear across the finish line at this year’s Race for the Cure.

“I explained to my minister that I wanted to feel like I was carrying them during the race,” she said. “But then I thought well, you know, I purchased this fabric because people want breast cancer blankets, especially in October. I always pray for those people as I’m sewing, so I’ll take all of those names and embroider the blanket and display it at church.”

As women signed up to share a name for the blanket, Thompson took the opportunity to talk with them about the importance of early detection and finding a cure. Because her sister had breast cancer, she understands the struggle that families experience.

“It’s very personal, not just to me but to those other families out there,” she said. “It’s just a little thing; it’s not a big thing to me. I just think that if we do little things to educate and be there for each other, it gives us all a little more strength and a little more hope. This disease affects a lot of people and it’s not just one person that has cancer, it’s the whole family, the whole church. We need to do something to help with that.”

Thompson also spent years working as a registered nurse, so she has seen the importance of things like self-exams and annual screenings first hand. She recommends being seen regularly by your physician and if something comes up, getting treatment as soon as possible. “I’ve spoken with women who don’t want to know, and if that happens there will never be a cure,” she said. “It’s best to know and get early treatment.”

At Race for the Cure today, Thompson will have her blanket with the embroidered names to show support for her loved ones. However, she knows that thousands of other women and their families are still struggling. She encourages people to donate to organizations like Susan G. Komen and stay hopeful.

“‘I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.’ That bible verse always gives me hope,” she said. “I think that’s what we all need, hope. I think that with hope, we will find a cure. I just think that it might give someone else hope to know that if we look to our source, to where all of our help comes from, that everything will be okay. We’re going to be okay, no matter what we’re diagnosed with.”