It began as a class project for 6th grader Ryan Anderson, but it became much more than that.
“I didn’t really know what to do for a community project, and then I thought I wanted to do something for cancer, and my mom had an idea that maybe we could do blankets,” said Anderson.
The 11-year-old ultimately deciding to make blankets for cancer patients being treated at the SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center.
“We had a very close family friend pass away this year from cancer, and it’s been in the forefront of our mind,” said Terra Anderson, Ryan’s mother. “And Ryan was watching his sister make blankets for friends at Christmas and the thought came to him, ‘I can make blankets’.”
Ryan got to work immediately — making 10 blankets by hand, with very little help.
“As a family, we wanted the project to be something where he would do the heavy lifting, he would do the work,” said Terra.
When the blankets were done, Ryan went to drop them off personally, writing a small note to go along with each one.
“Hi, my name is Ryan,” the card reads. “I made this blanket for you to remind you that you are not alone in the fight against cancer. Hopefully this blanket makes you feel better when you do not feel the best. Sincerely, Ryan.”
While he knew he was doing something nice, Ryan didn’t realize just how much of an impact his actions would have.
“At first I thought it was really nice, but then when I saw their reactions…it was really cool,” said Ryan.
“We had a patient just receive one just this week and she cried. It was just such a heartwarming moment, to know that they are not alone in this battle,” said Diane Scoville, Director of the SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center.
A seemingly small gesture, making a world of difference for those patients.
“I think it’s so emotional because we all have been touched by cancer, whether it’s personally, or we know a friend of a friend,” said Terra.
Ryan’s blanket project was so successful, he is considering keeping it going. He’s hoping to make 60 more blankets in the coming weeks.