Sheila Ethier, RN is the founder and Executive Director of the
Blankets of Love Foundation for Mental Health.
Sheila created the program in 1996 for patients facing challenges with mental illness at the
University of Alberta Hospital
in Edmonton, Alberta. Since it's inception we have provided more than 4500 Blankets of Love to patients in need.
"I was a patient on the psychiatric ward at the University of Alberta Hospital several times for the treatment of major depression. I remember how lonely and isolated I had felt from the rest of the world. I was always cold and looking for more blankets.
"One afternoon while at home I came across a quilt my grandmother had made for me when I was a young girl. I looked at the worn, bright yellow and orange patchwork quilt and I remembered the day my grandmother had given it to me. In reliving memories of my grandmother and of the love expressed in making a quilt just for me I immediately felt a peace wash over me. I covered myself with my quilt made of love and let the warmth soothe my cold, achy body. In those quiet comforting moments I knew 'Blankets of Love' would help other people. And so the program began."
Count It All Joy
Count It All Joy is the story of one woman’s courage, spirit and determination to overcome challenges life put in her way…to survive and ultimately to find joy.
Count It All Joy is the story of Sheila Ethier, a single mother of two sons, a woman like so many in our country. But there the similarities end. Sheila also is a woman whose young child was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just a baby. Her story is the story of parents who live through the day-to-day treatments, pain, frustration and sorrow of kids with cancer.
Her story is also about living with depression. In addition to coping with her son’s cancer and trying to build a normal life for her older son, Sheila is battling severe depression – a depression that saps her will, unexpectedly brings darkness and pain, and immobilizes her with despair.