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Quilt for Cure

Quilt for Cure is a high-school student led charity project. The founding member, Siddharth Gupta after volunteering at the American Cancer Society, was moved by the pain that cancer patients have to endure. He made it his top priority to do whatever he could to ease the tribulation that cancer patients go through. Siddharth and his parents (both doctors at Essentia) met with Troyd Geist, NDCA’s Folklorist several times (Siddharth’s sister, Ishika, is in NDCA’s apprenticeship program managed by Troyd). Troyd asked him to think of something long-term, personal, and impactful and spoke to them about a quilt program. After hours of brainstorming and notebooks of paper, Quilt for Cure was born.

Troyd said, “I gave some contact information to Siddharth. Well, he took off with the idea. Raised $14,000 ($7,000 in donations and then $7,000 in match from Essential) and obtained 250 donated quilts to distribute to cancer patients in North Dakota and Minnesota. He now is looking at setting up a non-profit organization to keep this going in our area. Impressive!”

“I made a website and started asking people and spreading the word - donations and quilts started coming in - then a domino effect from that. All of the Cancer patients at Essentia Health Fargo, Wahpeton, Park Rapids and Duluth and we are on the verge of covering all of Fargo, Grand Forks, and all of Minot. It’s not just quilts like this that are being donated, students are also making tie blankets. When they’re complete they’re putting special messages on them such as ‘Stay Strong’ and ‘Keep Fighting.’” said Siddharth.

Every year 30,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in North Dakota and Minnesota. That’s 30,000 people who have to endure the disastrous effects of chemotherapy, one of which is intense shivering. Along with intense shivering, those patients have to spend cold restless nights at the hospital away from their loved ones. Quilt for Cure is a beacon of hope for all of the cancer patients out there. Sometimes something as simple as a quilt is enough to bring a smile on a person’s face, or a sense of hope for the future. Quilt for Cure allows anybody to show their feelings to the thousands of patients in the region.

Some testimonials from quilt recipients: The Quilt for Cure project is a fantastic concept! These quilts will not only warm the body but will rekindle a sense of strength, inspiration and fortitude to the soul. Thank you so much!!! ~  Robert P.; Thank you so very much for the beautiful Quilt. It brightened my day! If the world had more people like you it would be a better place. I bet your parents are very proud! Thank You ~ JoAnn M.; Quilt for Cure what a wonderful project. While receiving one of my last treatments I was so surprised when I received my afghan — it was beautiful. The warmth of it I feel comes from the love that was put into it while being made. Thank you so much. ~ Pearl L.; and I miss my mother so much who passed away. The quilt you gave her is giving me some comfort because I sleep with it now. ~ Karen M.

The goal of Quilt for Cure is to provide as many quilts and blankets to cancer patients. A little warmth and comfort goes a long way in patients’ fights against cancer. Anybody with a little time and some sewing supplies can help donate. The many active traditional quilting guilds in North Dakota and Minnesota also can help. To learn more or to donate, visit

~ Article from Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2014 edition of Prairie Arts newlsetter.

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