A comforting quilt during a tough time

For more than four years, the Make-A-Wish Australia Barossa Valley branch has worked with Barossa-based Vine Patch Quilters to gift a quilt to wish recipients and their families. They are: Make-A-Wish volunteers, Ms Amanda Noack (far left) and Cath Cox (far right), with Vine Patch Quilters president, Mrs Heather Swan and secretary, Mrs Rose Wauer. Photo by Celeste Newbery INSET: Two Wells teenager, Keeley Merritt received a nautical themed quilt from the Vine Patch Quilters. Supplied photo.

Barossa-based Vine Patch Quilters have been providing a talking point outside of health-related topics for Make-A-Wish recipients during medical treatment for more than four years.

The group have donated 21 quilts to the Make-A-Wish Australia Barossa Valley branch since 2017.

Two Wells teenager, Keeley Merritt is among the recipients of the carefully constructed comforters, after she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour on her spinal cord in 2018.

An operation to remove most of the tumour was conducted soon after diagnosis and Keeley had radiotherapy treatment, also in 2018.

Keeley, now 15, attends regular MRI scans to ensure the cancer does not spread.

“When I received it, I felt grateful that people had spent so much time making a quilt for me,” Keeley said.

“The quilt is really comfy and nicely designed.”

Keeley’s mum, Alison Copley, said the quilt was “perfect” for her daughter to rest in bed with.

“It was lovely when Keeley received her quilt,” Ms Copley said.

“It is really well made.

“Keeley has been through a lot, but we are very grateful to her Make A Wish team who have brought happiness to not only Keeley, but the whole family.”

Vine Patch Quilters president, Mrs Heather Swan said the group enjoyed brightening up somebody’s life through their difficulties.

The quilts usually take less than a month to create and are designed with the recipient’s name and theme of their wish.

“It’s a challenge for the quilters to create a new quilt, we really enjoy it,” Mrs Swan said.

“The quilt is a talking point for the recipient that’s not medical related.”

Make-A-Wish Australia Barossa Valley branch president, Ms Vickie Lester said the partnership with the Vine Patch Quilters was “incredibly special”.

“These volunteers bring joy to children and teenagers when they need it most, customising each quilt with a message of hope,” Ms Lester said.

“This is a wonderful example of what we call the Wish Force, building partnerships between the community and Make-A-Wish to bring imagination and inspiration to sick kids.

“We thank these dedicated volunteers from the bottom of our hearts for creating beautiful quilts that are cherished by the children and teenagers who receive them.”

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