Hanover County woman honors late daughter by gifting blankets to cancer patients

Updated: Dec. 1, 2020 at 4:22 PM EST
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MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WWBT) - A Hanover County mother is honoring her daughter by gifting blankets to cancer patients.

Virginia Nichols is a vendor at the Garden Gate Antique Shop in Mechanicsville, selling everything from earrings to dolls.

“I like artsy things I guess you can say, so it’s comforting for me to come up with something,” says Nichols.

Then, she takes the money and buys materials to make blankets but those aren’t bought - they’re gifted.

“When I first came here as a vendor, she was one of the first people to come up to me and just be so kind to me,” said Carol Broughman, who has a booth alongside Nichols at the Garden Gate.

She says a few months ago, she was having a conversation with her daughter at the booth.

“My daughter was talking about a friend of hers who was battling breast cancer,” she says.

Virginia overheard the conversation, and a few days later Broughman had a surprise.

“There’s a bag with a handmade blanket, some crosswords puzzles and it turns out, Virginia left it,” says Broughman.

It’s a gift with meaning; Virginia’s daughter, Gwendolyn, died from breast cancer.

On one of her first trips to the hospital, her best friend gave her a blanket, and Virginia says she carried it to the day she died.

“She was very strong, never complained, just a really good girl. I figured if it meant that much to her that I should do it for other people,” Nichols said with tears in her eyes.

Carol wanted to show Virginia how much that small but powerful gesture really meant.

Virginia was surprised with NBC12′s Acts of Kindness Award, $300 in cash and a $50 gift card to Mexico Restaurant.

Virginia cried and then revealed her own battle with breast cancer.

“I had it the same time she had it when she passed, but God left me here,” she said.

Virginia says making the blankets will always be her way of remembering her daughter and comforting those who are fighting breast cancer.

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