Quilts 4 cancer : quilting the chemical sciences for pancreatic cancer patients

Ross, Kirsty S. and Hoskins, Clare; Varsou, Ourania, ed. (2023) Quilts 4 cancer : quilting the chemical sciences for pancreatic cancer patients. In: Teaching, Research, Innovation and Public Engagement. New Paradigms in Healthcare (NPH) . Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 167-178. ISBN 9783031224522 (https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-22452-2_13)

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The Challenge Pancreatic cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are frequently cold during their treatments. Our project aimed to mitigate these side effects for patients whilst raising awareness of the work being undertaken by chemists to find new and improved pancreatic cancer treatments. We did this through the creative medium of quilting. Our Solution This project represented a collaboration between five UK universities (Strathclyde, Glasgow, Robert Gordon University [RGU] Aberdeen, Keele, and Ulster) and a spinout company now called DxCover Ltd. Our researchers were invited to design digital quilt block patterns, based on their research, that were distributed via social media and face-to-face interactions with quilters. Each block pattern was accompanied by a short explanation of the science that it represented. Blocks were brought together and sewn into quilts for distribution to adults with pancreatic cancer. Our Audience The audiences involved in the successful delivery of the project included: the researchers designing the quilt blocks based on their science, the quilters creating the blocks, the pancreatic patients, their families, and the clinicians treating them. Others who had an interest in the project included those following the project on social media or via podcasts released in collaboration with ‘Purple Rainbow’. Reach of the Project This mode of engagement was new to us. Despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, we eventually worked with 11 researchers to provide 15 inspirational images which resulted in the creation of 16 quilts by 33 quilters for pancreatic cancer patients in Scotland and Canada.