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Cape woman to donate blankets to Golisano

By Staff | Dec 22, 2017

When Marlene Medar’s grandson contracted cancer seven years ago and defeated it, she decided to show her thanks by helping out other children with cancer by helping to keep them warm.

Medar started crocheting blankets for kids in the chemotherapy ward and hasn’t stopped, making more than 650 blankets in all shapes and colors over the last six years.

This week Medar will be taking many of the 110 blankets she has in two large storage bins at her home to the Golisano Children’s Hospital for the 70 or so children currently staying there.

“It means a lot to the kids because I belong to a newcomer’s group here and one of them, his 9-year-old granddaughter has cancer,” Medar said. “I made one for her real fancy, and he said she lays with it all the time.”

In 2010, her grandson, then a senior in high school in Texas, contacted a form of Hodgkin’s Disease. When he defeated it, she started to crochet the blankets.

She would go to Texas every year, visit the hospital her grandson was at in Austin, and drop off what she made. They were usually big enough for a small child, but not for older kids.

“When I first started making them, they asked of I can make them a little bigger, since there were teenagers there. So I started doing that,” Medar said. “When they go to chemo, they get really cold.”

She did this until 2015, when Medar became ill herself with a blood disease, forcing her into treatments every other week. Despite that, she continued to make more blankets, usually on average one every two days, which allows her to fight boredom.

“They’re not going to have room for all of them at the hospital in Texas, so I decided since I was here, I contacted Golisano’s and asked how many kids were in their cancer ward,” Medar said. “They said they have 10 beds, but don’t usually use more than five. At that point, they had just one.”

They did, however, have between 60 and 70 in the entire children’s wing, which was good enough for Medar. She is going to donate a blankets to every child on the wing, as well as a few extra if the hospital needs them.

She is also, with the help of her friends from United Mine Workers, collecting toys for children at Golisano’s for Christmas.

Medar said she expects to be able to donate the remainder of her blankets (along with the new ones she intends to make) in March, when her treatments are over and can resume travel to Texas.

She said it will relieve some of the boredom at home and maybe get other people involved in crocheting for a cause.

“I can’t sit and watch TV. I have to be doing something. I watch all the baseball and football games and it helps me keep busy,” Medar said. “This may give people who do crochet an idea of what to do with them, such as take them to nursing homes. They’re always in need of them.”