CI Hero: Morton woman knits hats, scarves for local cancer patients

CI Heroes

MORTON, Ill.– A Morton woman prides herself with the values of work, honor, and love. In her free time, Sheila Kimmey loves to knit and not just a hat or scarf here and there.

Over the past few years, she’s cranked out over 7,000 hats and 400 scarves for oncology patients at OSF Healthcare St. Francis Medical Center.

Sheila Kimmey’s philanthropic nature makes her this week’s CI Hero.

“She’s always been so creative and so giving and very loving,” said Kathi Copelen, CI Hero Nominator. “She’s just a neat person and nobody could ever knit as fast as she [does.] She is a machine.”

Knitting needles move quickly and effortlessly for Sheila Kimmey. For her, it’s more than just a past time.

“Why do I like it? It’s relaxing and it’s something I can do,” said Sheila Kimmey, CI Hero.

Over the last eight or so years, Kimmey has knit around 7,000 hats and 400 scarves for cancer patients at OSF Healthcare St. Francis Medical Center.

“When you got something on, just like regular clothes, that you think you look good in or feel good in, it just makes you happier and a little bit not so concerned with what may be else is going on in your life,” said Copelen.

“If I was a patient, I would want something kind of cheerful and different and not the plain old navy stocking cap,” said Kimmey. “So I just made different colors and I hope that everybody likes them.”

Every two weeks, Kathi Copelen comes to Kimmey’s Morton home to see a table full of hats. A hat or scarf in every color under the rainbow for men, women, and children.

“We need Packer colors,” said Copelen. “We need the Bears colors. You know, so I can just tell her what we need and poof! They arrive so she’s pretty amazing.”

LaTia Danner works as a receptionist for OSF Healthcare and she says seeing people receive the hats, at no cost to them, brings the biggest smile to their faces.

“They like them,” said LaTia Danner. “It puts a smile on your face when you see somebody that’s having a bad day and then they like, go over to our little sign and get a hat. ‘Oh, this is perfect!’ You know, they didn’t come in with a hat and then they had a hat when they left.”

For those going through a battle with cancer, sometimes a hat knitted with love can make all the difference when it comes to confidence.

If you’d like to nominate someone to be a CI Hero, CLICK HERE.

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