Quilt Dedication

Laurel O’Brien, of the Village of Caroline, joins a friend, Pam Francis, and displays the prayer quilt she received during her fight with breast cancer.

Laurel O’Brien continues to be blessed by those around her as she battles breast cancer.

On Feb. 16, O’Brien walked into New Covenant United Methodist Church’s Lake Deaton campus a week after having breast cancer surgery to find that the prayer quilt at the front had been dedicated to her.

“It was just a wonderful gift and it was such a surprise,” the Village of Caroline resident said about the quilt.

O’Brien has been fighting breast cancer since July.

She said she went to the church a few times after her diagnosis and chose the church because she liked the singers there.

She had heard about prayer quilts in the past. When she saw the quilt at the front of the church in February, she wanted to go figure out how it worked while also praying for friends of hers who have cancer.

“I walked up there and I was looking it over and I saw a sign that read, ‘The Gift of Prayer — This prayer quilt is for Laurel O’Brien,’” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. I started crying when I saw it because I felt totally loved and blessed.”

O’Brien’s friend, Joan Allen, said her friend deserves the support.

“It is such a beautiful and touching story,” Allen, of the Village of Bonita, said. “She is a wonderful caring person.”

Allen is a participant in O’Brien’s Zumba class at SeaBreeze Recreation Center. She believes her friendship with O’Brien continues to grow as time goes on.

“Several of us in the Zumba class think there is no such things as a coincidence,” Allen said.

“We feel it was a ‘God Wink,’ meaning we are in a situation because a greater power wanted us to experience something special.”

O’Brien agrees.

“It was random that I woke up feeling the need to go to church, particularly that church,” she said. “The prayer quilts are only displayed for a short period of time, usually about a week, so it was just amazing that I got to see it.”

O’Brien added that she feels her friend Pam Francis, an active member in the church and her class, dedicated the quilt to her saying it came from O’Brien’s Zumba students.

“It made me feel absolutely wonderful to know that it came from those I love and care about,” O’Brien said. “I am truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.”

Staff Writer Andrea Davis can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5374, or andrea.davis@thevillagesmedia.com.