Blanketed with Courage
Cancer affects everyone directly or indirectly. For Greg Fischer, a Special Assignment Flight Attendant for Delta Air Lines, cancer touched the lives of his colleagues and their loved ones.
In 2012, while on vacation with two of his friends, Greg was inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt that was circulating around the United States. He wanted to create something similar for the Delta employees and their caregivers that were battling breast cancer to give them hope and support.
Shortly after returning from his vacation, Greg got to work to bring his vision for the quilts to life. First, he secured fabric donations from a local fabric shop, Forsyth Fabrics. He worked closely with them and his four non-Delta friends to make two beautiful quilts, which only took one week to sew!
Greg and his team displayed the quilts at Delta’s Annual Velvet Conference to raise awareness and funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Attendees at the conference would make donations and write words of encouragement and their hopes for a cure on the colorful panels. This tradition of writing messages on the panels carried over to other Delta events and events that Delta sponsored, like Relay for Life.
In 2014, Rachael Rensink, Senior Manager of Global Employee Recognition and Engagement at Delta, was diagnosed with breast cancer. And shortly thereafter, in the same year, her mother-in-law was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
As Rachael was navigating through her journey as a patient, and a caregiver to her mother-in-law, Greg and his team passed the quilts to Rachael. During this time, Delta didn’t have any support groups, and Greg wanted to show his support to Rachael and others that were going through the same challenges. A year later, in 2015, Rachael founded the Breast Cancer Support Group. And since the inception of the support group, the quilts have been passed around to other employees and their families to blanket them with comfort and love.
Recently, the quilts were donated to Atlanta Cancer Care (ACC) at Northside Hospital. Rachael wanted to donate them to a facility that provided care for a lot of the Delta employees going through treatment. Her hope is that the Delta employees and caregivers would feel supported when they saw the quilts displayed throughout their treatment centers.
With the help of ACC and Northside’s Survivorship Program, Northside Foundation worked with the different Northside campuses to find the perfect places to showcase one of the quilts. The quilt will be staged each week during the month of October at each campus. The first campus to stage the quilt was Northside Cherokee. Following Cherokee will be Forsyth, then Atlanta, then Duluth.
This order follows Northside Foundation’s Tennis Against Breast Cancer (TABC) event schedule. Each year, Northside Foundation dedicates every Friday in October to fundraise for the hospital’s Breast Care Program through this event. 100% of the funds raised through TABC supports screening mammograms and transportation assistance for under-insured women in the community.
To learn more about TABC, please visit: www.give.northside.com/events/tabc.