The fabric of our lives

School charity event weaves together big impact


Students and community members hand-craft fleece-tied blankets such as this one to donate to children in the hospital.

Justin Peabody, Copy Editor

Every year, Prospect students, their families, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, sports teams, District 57 students, and a myriad of other community members flood the cafeteria with fabrics and scissors.

They all come to help make blankets for a special event called Knots of Love, which has been run for eight years by Mount Prospect resident Amy Graver and her family. This year, the event is on March 16, and is open to the entire public.

Graver runs the event in honor of her daughter, Lauren, who was diagnosed with a rare form of pediatric cancer while attending second grade at Lyons Park Elementary School. Her cancer, called rhabdomyosarcoma, was treated at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge. 

During treatment, Lauren was given a blanket so she could feel more comfortable and at ease. In coalition with her teachers, Lauren decided to organize a community event that allowed anyone to make blankets to be distributed to other children at hospitals so they could be comforted the way she was. It was then that Knots of Love was born.

At the age of ten, Lauren passed away from her cancer. According to Yale Medicine, only 400 cases of rhabdomyosarcoma are diagnosed per year.

Since the event’s beginnings, Graver and her family have embraced Knots of Love as a way to keep Lauren’s charitable spirit alive in the hearts of all who choose to participate. 

“The event means a lot to our family so we can continue Lauren’s legacy, and [Prospect] has kindly allowed their space so we can do that…we are grateful again to Prospect for being such a wonderful partner and a wonderful host,” Graver said.

Knots of Love’s powerful and diverse community presence has inspired the creation of other smaller blanket-making events at local retirement homes. In Graver’s eyes, the event has been a resounding success: over 3,000 blankets have been donated to Advocate, the same hospital where Lauren was treated.

Thanks to the entire community’s charitable efforts, young cancer patients continue to receive hand-crafted, gingerly washed blankets, tagged with the message: “made in honor of Lauren and tied in love for you.”