A Kansas City woman supports cancer patients by providing them with prayer shawls that comfort them during tough times.
Paula Gettino crochets prayer shawls, and she frequently prays while her hands work the yarn into objects of beauty.
When Gettino retired after a 32-year career with Hallmark Cards, she knew she wanted to help others, and was looking for a simple way to do so.
"I have plenty of time on my hands," she said.
So she began to crochet prayer shawls.
"I say some prayers when I start it and each time I pick it up. I pray so hopefully that part of it is felt," she said.
Pat Nee has battled Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma for more than a decade. She's undergone chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and even a stem cell transplant in her battle.
It's a lonely and tough battle that few can understand. Gettino delivered one of her prayer shawls to St. Luke's Hospital where Nee was hospitalized.
Nee was captivated by the beauty of the shawl, but also knows it offers hope and comfort.
Linda Huber of St. Luke's Cancer Center said patients appreciate the prayer shawls.
"I have another patient who told me that she wears it to bed every night," Huber said. "She has to sit up to sleep and she wraps herself in the shawl every night."
Huber said patients say they know someone cares about them and is pulling through them, which is a powerful feeling during times of despair.
Gettino said she is counting on those who receive the shawls to prove the power of prayer.
"I kind of felt like if I could do this and give it to someone else I would let them know that they're not alone, that there's someone else out there that really knows how they feel," she said. "I just wanted to take that lonely feeling away."
And she could use the prayers herself. She was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago, and it's now spread to her bones. She said she will never again take for granted her health and feeling good.
"I start every day saying thanks (to God) for another day because I know that's a gift," Gettino said.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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