My name is Kip Lee, and at the age of 42, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and found myself sitting in a patient room at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.
I was unsure of my future, because I had just finished the final stage of my autologous transplant. I was shivering uncontrollably and having an allergic reaction to the stem cells that were cryogenically frozen and were now being given back to me into my blood. I recall the nurse placing multiple warm blankets over me; however, nothing appeared to help.
My sister-in-law, Kathy Williams, was present; she was one of many caregivers who scheduled different times out of their lives to provide support during this difficult time. On this day, I silently asked God to send me a guardian angel to comfort me, support me and provide me with the strength to fight this battle. Simultaneously, I thought about my sister, who had recently passed away, and then the tears started streaming down my face. I began looking around the room for a particular sign -- such as a glimmer of light or something to tell me that my guardian angel was present.
Sometimes during my recovery, one of the nurses presented me a blanket that was especially designed for transplant patients. Particularly important, I remember Kathy having tears in her eyes, and as she listened to me talk about my sister, she began adjusting the blankets to keep me warm. At that moment, I thanked God and then apologized, because I failed to recognize that my guardian angel, Kathy Williams, had always been present -- sitting with me, comforting me, sharing tears and providing support.
Soon after my transplant, Kathy began knitting blankets for transplant patients and children who were going through treatment at the Children’s Hospital located on the University of Utah campus. In the past eight years, Kathy has knitted more than 100 blankets, all of which provide comfort to adults and children who are going through some form of life-threatening illness. Based on my experience, I know the blankets can provide something other than physical warmth, but also hope and purpose.
Thank you, Kathy “Auntie Moo” Williams.