CI Hero: Illinois teen cancer survivor creates, donates fleece blankets to current patients


PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Mounds of vacuum-sealed fleece blankets piled on a table at OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois. The donation came from the hands and heart of a 15-year-old thyroid cancer survivor.

“This is 50 blankets that I hand-made, and it goes along with the foundation I created,” said Abby Ehrler. “It’s called Abby’s Blankets of Strength.”

The Galena native said she’s donating the blankets to provide comfort and warmth. It’s something she said she wished she had during her treatments.

I had thyroid cancer when I was 12, so I know what it’s like to be in the hospital, so I wanted to do something for other kids like me, so I could make sure they didn’t feel so alone in the hospital.

Abby Ehrler, Founder | Abby’s Blanket’s of Strength

In the summer of 2021, Ehrler said she’s handed away 100 blankets. 50 to the Children’s Hospital of Illinois and 50 to the University Of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

“It’s really, really amazing,” said Ehrler. “I get so excited when I can find a place to donate to. I’m really excited to be able to help other people.”

Abby’s Blankets of Strength is accepting donations to purchase materials for the blankets through PayPal at Ehrler said she makes blankets in all different themes and sizes for kids.

Through this submission form, you can nominate someone you know to be our next CI Hero.

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