Presence comes in many forms
A life-threatening diagnosis turns life upside down. Patients need to feel connected to the world as they undergo treatment, and know that they are not facing the diagnosis alone. One effective way to achieve this is by providing items of comfort, a reminder of home, and a visual reminder of family, friends, or a community rooting for the patient to finish treatment.
Why is a blanket so special?
If you have ever spent much time in a hospital, you probably noticed it does not feel much like home. When 19-year-old Kirsten, the inspiration behind b-present, was diagnosed with leukemia on July 26, 2015, her treatment required her to be confined to a hospital room for seven months. During that time, we saw firsthand how a soft, colorful blanket could provide comfort, even when no one was nearby. Kirsten received her first blanket from her best friend, Kelly. Kirsten wore that blanket around her shoulders all the time. It was like getting a virtual hug from her BFF whenever she needed it. Kirsten was wrapped in Kelly’s presence.
Kirsten (left) and her best friend since first grade, Kelly (right)
How Wrapped in Presence works…
As we remember Kirsten on the fifth anniversary of her diagnosis, b-present has partnered with Fleece and Thank You, another young adult founded organization inspired by young adults with cancer, to create fleece blankets for children and young adults facing extended hospital stays. We’d love for you to join us!
Simply order your blanket making kits, make the blankets, and either drop them off or mail them to our San Diego location. Blanket makers record a video message that goes with the blanket to the patient, and the patient can send a return video message.
Whether you are a close friend or family member, or a member of the support community, your handmade fleece blanket and personalized video message ensures the patient is wrapped in presence during a difficult time.
Virtual blanket making events
We held our first Wrapped in Presence Virtual Blanket Making Event on August 31st. Hosted by b-present, this event featured a special appearance by Fleece and Thank You CEO Nicholas Kristock and survivor Hannah Thomas who was blanket recipient during her treatment. It was a great opportunity to connect, learn, and create comfort and support for hospital patients in our community that need to know they are not alone.
If you would like to participate in a future virtual event, let us know. If there is enough interest, we would love to host more Wrapped in Presence community events.