When 7-year-old Lauren Graver was admitted to the hospital for cancer treatment, she was given a rainbow-patterned fleece blanket.
The blanket brought her comfort during a confusing time. Knowing how much the simple gesture meant, Lauren’s teachers and classmates at Lions Park Elementary began a blanket-making event to help other children with pediatric cancer.
Today, more than a year after Lauren passed away from her long fight with rhabdomyosarcoma, the Knots of Love event continues and will be held Friday, March 15 at Prospect High School, where two of Lauren’s siblings attend. The community is invited to join from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Participants are asked to bring materials such as fleece to assemble blankets, which will later be dropped off at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital’s pediatric cancer unit by the Graver family.
Now in its fourth year, the event continues to grow, with 700 blankets made in 2018.
“It’s really cool to see how many people support our family and want to make blankets in honor of Lauren,” says Claire Graver, a freshman at Prospect High School and Lauren’s older sister.
Adds Lauren’s older brother, Connor, a senior at Prospect: “Every year we’re surprised more and more with how many people come out and how many people care about our family.”
To continue to honor Lauren’s memory, the Graver family has established the Lauren Graver Memorial Scholarship, which will provide a minimum of $500 annually to a graduating Prospect senior who intends to pursue a career in journalism. The award is intended for a student who has demonstrated leadership and hard work within the field of journalism at Prospect or with The Prospector.
To raise money for this fund, the family will sell t-shirts designed by both Connor and Claire at the Knots of Love event.
To donate to the Lauren Graver Memorial Scholarship, visit 214foundation.org/scholarships.