Barb Wilson donning the Purple Hope quilt made by Jenny Pirie for ALS awareness. (Submitted/Lakes District News)

Burns Lake local’s quilt to raise ALS awareness and funds

Locals to Walk to End ALS on June 19

  • Jun. 9, 2021 12:00 a.m.

A Burns Lake local has made a quilt with love for her friend diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), to raise funds and awareness.

Jenny Pirie, program coordinator with CNC in Burns Lake, made a quilt calling it Purple Love, to honor and raise awareness around ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The quilt is an ode to Pirie’s long-time friend Barb Wilson who was diagnosed with ALS back in 2016.

“It started as a mystery quilt that a woman in Houston was running. Every few weeks you would get a block with instructions and you wouldn’t know what it would look like in the end. But I knew when I was going shopping for fabric that it was going to be purple for ALS because Barb is someone I have known for many years. We had our children at the same time, they graduated together, she worked at the college, we were in a book club together. While I was making the quilt, I thought of Barb and just put in lots of love and energy and joy as I was quilting it,” she said.

Pirie started quilting in 2017. Purple Hope is quilt number eight that took her about nine months to complete. It is currently on display at the Lakes District Museum and Art gallery for this month’s artist showcase but will be raffled off to raise funds for the ALS Society on June 19 during the 2021 Walk to End ALS event in Burns Lake.

To purchase the $5 ticket, people are encouraged to contact Ronda Payne at and those who decide to join the ALS walk, will be able to buy last minute tickets at the walk. The winning ticket will be drawn after the walk.

Wilson is also raising money personally through her page on the Walk to End ALS website for the ALS Society.

“I was diagnosed with ALS in 2016. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life was telling my kids I had a terminal illness. I am able to carry on with the love and support from my family, friends, community and the ALS Society. Thanks to recent medical developments, I have survived long enough to see both my children graduate from high school and begin their adult lives,” says Barb on the page.

The money raised through this will be going towards more ALS research and for ALS Societies to provide support to other individuals and families living with this disease.

The Walk to End ALS will be taking place at the LDSS track between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 19.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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