Elizabeth DeHority was not just one of Reece’s Rainbow’s wonderful, many supporters. She was an amazing and inspirational wife, mother, daughter, sister, doctor, friend…

Our community/family has lost a precious and beloved member… Elizabeth DeHority fought the hardest battle against cancer and she NEVER lost that battle. It never took away her fight and never took away her amazing spirit and it never stopped her from serving others. She is famous for her prayer socks, a prayer for every stitch as she knit them and inspired so many as she fought to help bring kids home. Her family are grieving her loss, as are we but we rejoice that she is now pleading on behalf of her babies and those children who need families IN PERSON. Heaven has a most treasured and wonderful woman today and we have her footprints (made by the most beautifully knit socks) to remember her and carry on what she inspired. -Lucille Brown

Although she was never one to self-promote, Elizabeth distinguished herself early in her life. The University of Michigan admitted her to its Medical School directly out of high school. Medical School preceptors saw her as a potentially excellent future surgeon, but Elizabeth selected Family Practice as her path of service. She retired from active practice many years ago but continued as an informal medical adviser to dozens of followers, friends, and family members. She was a passionate religious educator, an accomplished writer and photographer, a fiber/spinning/knitting expert, an advocate for orphans and children with Down syndrome, and an adventurer who was open to any new hobby or craft. What others would see for themselves as punishments, Elizabeth welcomed as blessings. In every reversal, she found consolation. A child with Down syndrome, another with Cerebral Palsy and an obscure metabolic disorder, the death of a premature son, even the terminal cancer itself. Each presented an opportunity for Elizabeth to serve as an example and to amplify her influence on others facing similar issues.

2d4c4-socks2She loved to teach people, especially children, the art of knitting. Her love of knitting turned into a way to help her as she prayed. She said a prayer with every stitch. Her now famous Prayer Socks were covered with prayers (and stitches).

More than 19,000 stitches in a pair of socks and each one a prayer! Even while fighting cancer herself, Elizabeth made dozens of pairs of prayer socks for friends, loved ones, and strangers who needed those prayers. This is her pattern, compiled from the entries on her blog. Knit from the top down with minimal purling, it has a hem at the top (photo tutorial included), short row heel and toe and is what she found to be the easiest way for her to knit socks and to teach others to knit them.

socks3In memory of Elizabeth DeHority by Denise Balvanz and the women of the Nursing Mothers’ Sewing List. The Nursing Mothers’ Sewing List is a group of moms who became close friends online because of a common bond over pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and sewing our own clothing. We miss Elizabeth dearly, she was a vital part of our group. We wanted to honor her part in our lives by sharing her pattern with the world and using it to help support a cause that was dear to her heart.

It is those prayer socks that became a very sought after item and she recognised the opportunity to use these as a way to help raise money for the families and children of Reece’s Rainbow, a charity that was dear to her heart. One pair, alone, was auctioned for over $600!

wheel1Eight years ago, she was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma. She fought not just a battle against that, she waged war on it in order to prolong her time with her husband and children. But cancer NEVER won. Her entire body had to be completely overtaken before she succumbed to it.

Her blog begins with a verse from the Bible, Philippians 4:8, which reads, in part: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, any excellence, anything worthy of praise – think about those things.”

All money from the sale of this pattern will go to support the work of Reece’s Rainbow, Down Syndrome Adoption Grant Foundation. Please give generously and help a child find a forever home.

This pattern being made available for purchase to honor Elizabeth and the children on Reece’s Rainbow for whom she fought and advocated is something beyond precious. It is like having a part of Elizabeth with you.
Elizabeth, we are so proud of you.

© 2015 by Denise Balvanz and the women of the Nursing Mothers’ Sewing List