Des Moines- Days 2 & 3

Day 2:
Saturday at the mall was pretty slow.  I have been in a lot of malls on saturdays with the quilt, and i have never seen a mall so quite.  We learned that there is a huge cycling event in Iowa and it was in des Moines that day, drawing crowds of thousands of people.  OK, so lesson learned here.  Find out what big local events are on the calendar before booking tour dates/locations.  We had a good day regardless.  Everyone at the mall was nice, and Austin DeHaai’s parents came to help staff the display.  We had fun talking with them and passing the time when the mall was really slow.
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Day 3:
Sunday was a bit better; there was more traffic than on Saturday.  Austin DeHaai’s grandparents and a close family friend came to help staff the quilt display and they did a good job.  What’s more, they stayed to help break down and load up the trailer.  This was extreamely helpful because this was the first time we had put up six poles/bases/sandbags, so there was a lot more to load out.

The surprise visitors of the day was the Steffes family of Iowa.  This was very interesting.  We had never met them, and they did not know the National Angel Quilt was in Iowa.  They happend to be at the mall, and as Marty Steffes was coming down the ecsalator, he saw his niece on the quilt and came right over!  It turns out that his brother’s daughter McKaila, from Denver, is on the National Angel Quilt.  We met her mom, dad, and brother when we took the quilt to Denver in April 2012.  Well, ironically, Marty’s daughter, who is McKaila’s cousin, was also diagnosed with cancer.  Both cousins were fighting cancer at the same time.  Gracie in Iowa, and McKaila in Denver.  It was really great to see the Steffes family, and meet Gracie, who is currently in remission from ALL.

Gracie Steffes

Gracie Steffes, Leukemia survivor, points to her cousin McKaila Steffes on the National Angel Quilt. The two cousins battled cancer at the same time.

McKaila Steffes Aunt, Uncle, and cousins visit the quilt by accident! They had no idea McKaila was on the National Angel Quilt, nor did they know the quilt was in Des Moines. We think McKaila brought them to the quilt that day!

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Maddeson Tersinar’s family also came by on Sunday from Marion, Iowa.  The photos above are Maddeson’s little sister Kendall, who was still a baby when her sister earned her angel wings, but she does know her sister!
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Family photo of the Tersinar Family, (Maddeson’s panel is just over her mom and sister’s heads).

Kendall proudly points to her “Sissy” Maddeson!

Austin DeHaai’s granparents and close family friend. they came to help staff the quilt on Sunday, and were a great help packing up at mall close.

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We packed up on Sunday evening, and said good bye to Valley West Mall.  Thank you very much for hosting the National Angel Quilt and helping us raise awareness for childhood cancers!