Women

Heart-shaped pillows for breast cancer patients

Heart-shaped pillows for breast cancer patients

Photos: Hanna Wagner

Sewing circle "Joy of life" of the Adventist Church in Mühlheim/Main, Germany

February 21, 2020

The sewing circle "Lebensfreude" (Joy of Life) has become a household name in Mühlheim and has existed for a good 6 years. 3 times a year, about 25 women (sometimes a man is also present) meet for a whole Sunday to sew heart cushions and pack them for delivery to hospitals. At noon there is lunch for everyone and coffee and cake.
On February 16, 2020, we had our 20th sewing circle meeting and we also celebrated the production of our 2,000th heart pillow since its launch in December 2013.

For the organisation I now have 2 dear friends from the sewing circle (one of them had received a heart pillow from us 5 years ago), who take care of buying fabrics and cutting the heart pillows with me. They also support me in actions like patient days in the hospital, market booth in the Mühlheim shopping mile, Christmas market in the Cancer rehab clinic etc. At these events we present our sewing circle, which not only sews heart cushions, but also crochets and knits cuddly things for premature babies or provides star beds for stillborn babies. The visitors of our sewing circle booth are happy to donate for our work and receive a small heart cushion, a handkerchief box or a lavender bag as a thank you.

In autumn, the head of the Children's Intensive Care Unit in the Offenbach hospital asked me if we could sew cover cloths for the incubators to protect the premature babies from the light. Just in time for the World Preemie Day on 
November 17, 2019, they received 10 large covers. Last week they received another 2 large and 12 smaller cloths.
During the year we receive many phone calls, emails and letters from grateful women who experience relief from their pain and hope through the heart pillows. In January 2019 I received a call from Carinthia (Austria) one Friday evening. Of course I was very curious to find out how they got my phone number and asked me for heart pillows in Mühlheim of all places. The person in charge of a social institution had received a call from the Villach hospital saying that they would like to give heart pillows to their breast cancer patients and were looking for a group that could sew for them. The caller asked me to help her start sewing the heart pillows. Phone calls and e-mails went back and forth and meanwhile they regularly supply the breast centre in the Villach hospital with heart cushions. On our next holiday in Carinthia we want to get to know each other personally.
Three weeks ago, I received a call from an elderly lady from Bad Kissingen, who herself had breast cancer 31 years ago and of course had not received a heart cushion. They did not exist back then. The hospital in Bad Kissingen had started a call through the local newspaper to find volunteer seamstresses for heart pillows. The lady who called me had googled how to sew heart cushions on the internet and came across our heart cushion page: muehlheim.adventist.eu/Herzkissen.
Through the sewing circle I have met many dear women, for whom as for me sewing heart cushions has become a matter of the heart. I have become friends with some of them and feel how our contact and prayers have changed their lives.
I am very grateful to God for the strength, joy and health that he gives me for this work and makes me a blessing for many people. And I am very thankful for the blessing that I myself experience through this.
Hanna Wagner, Mühlheim/Main

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