NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Every holiday season, Andrea Campbell and her family deliver handmade blankets to Carle Cancer Institute in Normal. Covers of the Heart is a tradition that started in 2003 after Campbell’s father Ted Grethey died from CNS lymphoma, a brain cancer, in August of that year.

“My father was a very giving man. So, it’s something I know he would want us to do,” Campbell said.

The blankets are delivered to the same cancer center where Grethey was treated. Campbell says the holidays hold a sentimental value because Grethey found out he had cancer shortly after Christmas in 2002. She said when her father was going through treatment the family noticed many patients lacked support around them.

“It’s our way of giving them hope and support and love. So, maybe they can wrap themselves in a blanket and feel that from us to them,” said Campbell.

The family’s goal is to fill every seat in the facility with a blanket. This year the family reached the goal and delivered 50 blankets. The blankets will go to both chemotherapy and radiation patients.

“To learn that this year was the 20th year and that they were going to be coming up to deliver blankets was very special. So, tomorrow when patients come into the facility for their treatments and they’ll see the blankets on their chairs, they will be very surprised and also very excited as well,” said Director of the Carle Cancer Institute Joe Prosser.

A total of 25 members across three generations created and delivered blankets. Campbell says it means a lot to her family to be able to help others through their cancer journey.

“I hope it helps ease their journey a little bit. Um, and I hope that if someone’s in here by themself that knowing that there’s somebody here that’s thinking about them. It’s never an easy day for us obviously. So, I just hope that they know that there’s somebody out there, including my dad, thinking about them,” she said.

The family plans to keep the tradition going for many years to come.