140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Shriners patient donates more than 100 blankets

A proper goodbye after 15 years of care
By Mary Bailey
When Nate Riedeman of Wyoming got too old for the Shriners Hospital for Children in Minneapolis, his biggest emotion was gratitude.
Riedeman, 20, was diagnosed with Ollier disease when he was 2 and has been a patient at Shriners for 15 years.
“Shriners Hospital has taken great care of me for most of my life, and I feel very blessed,” he wrote in a letter to friends. “I am forever in debt to this wonderful hospital.”
The reason for the letter was to ask for help. Riedeman wanted to thank the hospital and say goodbye with a grand gesture. He decided to organize a blanket drive to give comfort to current patients.
It’s not the first time: In a previous blanket drive, the family donated 60 fleece tie blankets to surgery patients.
The tradition goes even further back, as Nate’s mom, Colleen Riedeman, made him a blanket for each of his seven surgeries.
So to honor his “graduation” from the children’s hospital, this summer he asked anyone able and willing to help.
Friends, family and relatives helped cut and tie fleece blankets that Nate Riedeman donated to Shriners Hospital for Children to thank them for the care he received there.
Friends, family and relatives helped cut and tie fleece blankets that Nate Riedeman donated to Shriners Hospital for Children to thank them for the care he received there.
A fleece blanket takes two pieces of fabric, a yard and half each, costing about $20. Some folks donated fleece or money to buy it. Some came to the Riedeman house to help make the blankets.
Others dropped off finished blankets.
Riedeman and his brother Austin are college students. College friends, work colleagues, relatives and neighbors all contributed to the project.
One Sunday afternoon, when fleece was 70 percent off at a fabric store, the store gave them another 20 percent off, Colleen said. They came home with quite a bit of fabric, and 18 friends and family members came over to make 37 blankets.
The week before the trip to Shriners, there were 90 blankets.
“More trickled in,” Colleen said. “We were cutting and tying the day before.”
A “get well” note was included with each blanket, and a total of 113 blankets were delivered on Wednesday, June 25.
On that day, 12 children admitted for surgery were given blankets. The Riedemans hope they will have an experience like Nate’s.
“He recognized he was at a great place,” Colleen said.
Austin, Nate, Colleen and Brent Riedeman with finished blankets.
Austin, Nate, Colleen and Brent Riedeman with finished blankets.
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