Illinois woman knits hats for kids with cancer

Jodie Patterson's knitted hats
Jodie Patterson's knitted hats

GALESBURG, IL (KWQC/CNN) – An Illinois woman is using her knitting skills to bring comfort to sick kids across the country.

It’s her way of saying thank you to her stepfather.

“For Charlie and his memory, everything he’s done for me growing up,” Jodie Patterson said.

Patterson’s stepfather Charlie lost his battle to cancer in 2007.

She says he had the ability to light up a room with his smile.

A joy she wanted to pass along to others.

“One night I was at home knitting and watching television and my focus went to a picture of my stepfather and my mother. The idea just came to me then. I wondered if I could knit hats and donate them to children,” Patterson said.

Now, 6 years later, she’s made almost 2 thousand hats.

Donating them to children with cancer across the country.

“If I can put a smile on the face of a child then I’ve done what I wanted to do. That makes me happy and I know that makes Charlie happy,” Patterson said.

Even including her mom on every project. Because, as she puts it, Charlie would have wanted her too.

“When I knit the hats I take them to my mom. I ordered labels that say ‘For the love of Charlie’ and she sews them into each hat,” Patterson said.

It’s a project that allows her to feel closer to a man that sacrificed so much for her family.

A man that taught her valuable life lessons.

Lessons she wants cancer patients to embrace.

“Just a little bit of confidence, hope, security,” Patterson said. “It’s just encouraging the kids to keep fighting. Hoping that there’s people out there that care.”

The way Charlie cared for her.

Patterson’s goal is 10-thousand hats.

She doesn’t expect to reach it for another 30 years.

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