Howard's Quilt

Howard's quilt was the beginning of the Prayer Quilts

(View Prayer Quilt Gallery Here)

It was 2002, the week before Christmas.  My brother-in-law, Howard Young, at age 42, had just received the staggering news that he had pancreatic cancer, a cancer where more than 70% of patients die within the first year of their diagnosis.  

Needless to say, everyone was frightened, and scared.  Family, friends, everyone who knew Howard was devastated and just wanted to help, somehow, someway.  "What can we do?" was the question I heard over and over again.

So, we began to pray, and that is when God placed on my heart to make a "Prayer Quilt" to cover Howard in His Word, to cover Howard in prayers and blessings of goodwill, so that as he went through the days ahead, he would not only be covered with scripture, but covered in the remembrance of how many people were with him during this time.

Now mind you, I had never made a quilt before; I barely could sew a straight line.  But there was an image in my head that I felt God wanted me to create, so I just pushed forward trying to figure out how to get this quilt made.

It was obviously a "God Thing!"  The speed at which I found:  a quilter to make the quilt, sent out a letter to Howard's friends to come to my house to decorate the squares, acquired fabric and stencils and pens to do the decorating - it only could have been God at work, for I did not have a clue what I was doing!

But one thing I was sure of, that God's hand had been at work, that there was so much love that was contained in that quilt (and all others since!), and that after it was all said and done, I knew this could not be the end of these quilts.  And so I taught myself how to make them and this gift has continued on for others.

Howard has had the amazing gift of being a 12 year survivor of pancreatic cancer, with some hurdles along the way.  He has had the blessed fortune to see his 3 daughters grow through their high school and college years, and a couple soon to be married.  Howard has also become a strong advocate for the research for a cure for pancreatic cancer, and has given hope to countless people along the way.  

If you would like to hear more of his amazing story, here are a couple of links.

Katie Couric interviewing Howard Young 

Howard Young - Pancreatic Cancer Survivor Story


© margaret young