LANESBOROUGH -- A group of Lanesborough Elementary School students soon will be sending local cancer patients some warmth -- from their hands and their hearts.
Nine-year-old Pyper For-fa, inspired to action by her mother's cancer diagnosis, organized an after-school blanket-making workshop on Monday for fellow fo-urth-graders. She did so in partnership with Moments House, the Pittsfield-based organization that runs a meeting place for cancer patients, survivors and families.
Monday, while eight students worked in pairs to make a two-layer fringe blanket through a no-sewing method, they also learned a little more about the struggles people living with cancer face.
Pyper explained the incident that led doctors to discover her mother's cancer.
"My mom was giving me an airplane ride when I was little," Pyper said. Pyper said when her mom went to lift her up, her mom injured her back.
"I kind of saved her life that day because if she didn't break her back and go to the hospital, she wouldn't have found out she had cancer," Forfa said.
As doctors later discovered, Pyper's mother, Dody Brady, had been carrying the disease for some time. What had started as a breast cancer had spread to her bones.
Pyper and her mom then met Alice Trumbull, the executive director of Moments House at one of the organization's fundraising events, and have since become regulars.
"Pyper's very active there because of her mom. She's learned to make blankets and painted people's fingernails, and helps out at events. She's really fit in there," Trumbull said.
On Monday, the same day as her daughter's blanket workshop, Brady had a chemotherapy appointment at Berkshire Hematology Oncology. Mom-ents House has already donated more than 70 blankets to patients there.
Talia Cappadona, one of Forfa's best friends and classmates, helped Forfa make permission slips and sign other students up for the workshop.
"I think it is a good cause to help. I like her, I want to help her mom, and I love to help people," Talia said.