CRESTVIEW — A local woman is raising money for a cause close to her heart — breast cancer research.

Deanne Vaughn is a member of the Flying Needles Quilt Guild, a non-profit group of women who not only preserve the traditions, culture and history of quilting, but also put their talents to use by raising money for various causes.

Vaughn, a breast cancer survivor, said she thought the best way to celebrate October, which is breast cancer awareness month, would be for the guild to create a quilt to raffle off. Then, they could donate all proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.

“I think it’s important for people to know what can happen when you miss just one mammogram,” Vaughn said.

Vaughn’s mother had breast cancer and was diagnosed at age 57. She died after several years of medication, radiation and chemotherapy. According to Vaughn, her mother was the only member of her family who had breast cancer, so when she didn’t have the time for her yearly mammogram due to moving with the military, she thought she was in the clear.

But that was not the case and Vaughn was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41.

After total removal and reconstruction of both of her breasts and the removal of 16 lymph nodes in her arm, Vaughn began an aggressive form of chemotherapy; due to her mother’s history, the doctors wanted to be safe.

“Cancer now isn’t a death sentence like it used to be,” Vaughn said. “Look at me; I’ve been fine since 1997.”

Vaughn said the experiences she had with the illness and with her mother made her want to make this quilt and give all she could to cancer research. The quilt is 60 inches by 72 inches and was made with the help of members of the quilting guild.

Vaughn has been quilting since about 2002, she said. When she saw a show on PBS about quilting, it inspired her to try the hobby, and she immediately fell in love. Her first quilt, made from a bed sheet and denim jeans, was completely sewn by hand.

“It’s fun,” Vaughn said. “It just hits you.”

Vaughn is in charge of quilting workshops for the guild, and the group regularly gives back to organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse, for which they recently donated $300 in hurricane relief. They also make quilts of valor for physically or psychologically wounded servicemen, and quilts for various children’s organizations.

If you are interested in purchasing raffle tickets for the breast cancer quilt, come to the Crestview News Bulletin at 638 North Ferdon Blvd. or email the Flying Needles Quilt Guild at

Tickets are $1 for one or $5 for six. The guild will choose a winner on Dec. 14.

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