LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - For a patient dealing with cancer, a small gesture can brighten their entire day.
A Little Rock widow is making that her mission, by blanketing them with hope when they need it most.
“He loved visiting the sick. He loved taking care of people. That's just who he was,” said Gwen Wayne, referring to her late husband, Allen Wayne.
It has been two years since Gwen lost her husband of 32 years to a rare form of cancer.
“We weren't just still loving each other. We were still in love.”
Allen Wayne was a loving husband, father, grandfather, deacon and a firefighter for more than 30 years.
“The grief doesn't ever stop, so I made a choice where I can either be sad or I could choose joy and so not only am I choosing joy, I am spreading joy.”
Wayne is spreading that joy through blankets.
“I had a conversation with my husband when he was being treated for cancer and I asked what meant the most to him and he said a warm blanket. He said while he was getting his treatment, for some reason, he was cold no matter what the thermostat was set on. So, I'm choosing to bless other cancer patients,” said Wayne.
Wayne put out a call on Facebook, simply asking friends to donate red blankets for her birthday. Her goal is to give them to cancer patients in the hospital as a sign of hope.
“I did not tell them what the cause was. People would just walk up to me they would mail them to my house.”
As of Christmas Day, Gwen had collected about 90 blankets, however she is about to get a whole lot more thanks to the help of the Little Rock Fire Department.
“We're going to try and get blankets delivered to the Little Rock Fire Department. We will be collecting from January 1, which was his birthday and we'll stop on January 15,” said Wayne.
“She talked about collecting blankets and there being 90 blankets and I said I want you to be aware that once we start this, that 90 is going to turn into 900 and she was like let's do it,” said Little Rock Fire Chief, Gregory Summers.
“We don't want them to lose hope. We want them to know they are covered,” said Wayne.
She hopes to spread hope to those who need it most, one red blanket at a time.
“We all know someone who has been stricken with cancer and if you don't know somebody you know somebody who knows somebody. So, I feel like if we can collect even more blankets then we can give a lot more people a lot more hope and spread a little more joy in the world,” said Wayne.
All the blankets are embroidered with the Allen Wayne Foundation logo, which Wayne pays for out of pocket.
You can drop off the red blankets at any fire station in Little Rock from January 1 through the 15.
For more information, you can send an email to AllenWayneSrfoundation@gmail.com.