Paying it forward in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Paying it forward in Dubuque


By Lauren Squires

DUBUQUE (KWWL) - Pay it forward. Chances are if you've seen the movie you've heard about the concept. Doing an act of kindness for someone. In turn they do a good deed and so on. A mother-daugher combo are paying it forward by providing comfort.

Walk in to Cindy Widmars living room around Christmas time. And you won't find your typical Christmas decorations. Instead, this room is filled with hundreds of fleece blankets.

"She always had a blanket in the car and she always had a blanket wrapped around her when she was recieving the treatments," said Widmar.

At 18, Cindy's daughter, Katie was diagnosed with cancer. For six months she has 12 rounds of chemo therapy in Iowa City. In August of 2006, just two weeks before she was supposed to move to college, she started treatment again.

"Katie said 'Mom I wanna make another fleece blanket' so she could have one that was just new and to take with her," said Widmar.

Cindy and Katie left Dubuque for Chicago and 26 days of treatment. While they were gone, the friends and family took care of things back home.

"When we came home from the hospital in November we decided that we had to give back," said Widmar.

Giving back, by giving a fleece blanket to ever cancer patient in the Chicago hospital. The same comfort that Katie felt when she went through treatment. Their first year 120 blankets were donated.

"I wish I could take everyone in with us to each and ever room that we go into. Then you could see what thse blankets do and know that they make a huge difference," said Widmar.

A huge difference that's paying it forward.

"You don't go through something like we did and feel the love, compassion, support. Oh I just can't descirbe what everyone did for us and not want to do it. Something for someone else," said Widmar.

Proving that these blankets really are Christmas decorations. They have collected enough blankets to donate to hospitals in Dubuque and Chicago. Katie Widmar is currently 2 years in remission. She's in her first year at Harrington in Chicago and will celebrate her 21st birthday Sunday.

Online reporter: Lauren Squires

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