As fall gives way to winter, cancer patients at the Jewish General Hospital can wrap themselves in warm, cozy, hand-sewn blankets, courtesy of a dedicated team of Hope & Cope volunteers.

Like many good deeds, this one began with a chance conversation between building manager Jeff Adler, and one of his tenants, Guy Namer, President of GBN Textiles, who had 600 metres of extra fabric to donate. Jeff immediately brought the idea to family member Sandy Lipkus, Radiotherapy and En famille Coordinator for Hope & Cope.

“Six hundred metres is a lot of fabric,” Sandy explained. “We needed to ensure that we had enough volunteers who could handle the work.” Enter Hope & Cope volunteer par excellence Sonia Hazan and expert knitter, sewer and finisher Edna Janco. Among her other responsibilities, Sonia coordinates our team of knitters and sewers, handling all the logistics. “Everybody I contacted was enthusiastic and eager to get to work,” said Sonia.

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Recalled Sandy, “Once Sonia gave us the go-ahead, Jeff, assisted by his 10-year-old son, Chase, loaded 13 huge bolts of fabric into a rented van.” They drove to Sonia’s home, where they piled the load into her extra bedroom. Within the following days and weeks, Sonia delivered bolts of fabric to her team, who began sewing full length blankets for patients in palliative care as well as lap blankets for patients in the hospital’s oncology and radiotherapy clinics.

“Receiving this warm, cozy, blanket triggered something in me: the feeling that I had joined a club that nobody wanted to be in but where I would be taken care of.”
-Karen S.

Patients were not the only ones who received these gifts. To show our appreciation to the heroes on the front lines for providing outstanding care during such a stressful time, doctors, nurses and support staff received a blanket along with a thank-you note.