Mother makes quilt honoring son; hopes people will join her to help other families

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By Marisela Burgos

INDIANAPOLIS – The mother of an IMPD officer killed in the line of duty has found a way to use her passion for quilting to help her cope with her loss.

Sheri Bradway’s son, Rod, was killed Sept. 20, 2013. He was killed trying to save a woman and a child, who were being held hostage.

“It’s been 10 months, (since Rod was killed). There (have) been ups and downs and good times and bad (times),” Sheri Bradway said.

About a month or two after Rod Bradway was killed, Sheri Bradway said she started making a quilt in his honor. She described it as therapeutic. Sheri Bradway has quilted for about 12 years.

“I have no clue how many hours are in that (quilt I made). I have no clue how many tears are in there,” Sheri Bradway said.
For this one of a kind piece,Bradway said she used new techniques.

“(The quilt) shows a lot of Rod, but yet it shows his mother (too),” Sheri Bradway said.

The Rod Bradway quilt will be displayed at the fairgrounds, during this year's Indiana State Fair. It will then be placed at the IMPD Northwest District where he worked. It will stay there permanently.

“He had the courage to go through that door (on Sept. 20, 2013) and so I figured mom needed the courage to get a project going,” Sheri Bradway said.

Sheri Bradway is working on a project to create quilts for mothers across the United States, who have lost their loved one in the line of duty. She came up with the idea, during National Police Week. While she was in D.C., she met other mothers who shared her pain and she wanted to do something about it.

“It was through all that I decided that every mother of a fallen officer need(ed) a quilt,” Sheri Bradway said.

Sheri Bradway now needs your help on this project. She would like people to contact her if they want to make a quilt. She would like to have all of them done by next year’s National Police Week. With the help of others, Sheri Bradway plans to make quilts for every mother whose child was killed in the line of duty in 2014.

“It’s a gift from one mother to (another) mother,” Bradway said.

Sheri Bradway would like for her project to continue for many years. She is even planning to begin a foundation under her son’s name. She said everything is in the planning stages.

“I could always tell when he wore the uniform his voice was different and he truly found what he loved to do and a mother can’t ever ask for anything more,” Bradway said.

If you would like to volunteer, you can email Sheri Bradway at motherstears@centurylink.net. People can also send their information to the Nappanee Quilt Guild. Their address is 302 North Miriam Street, Nappanee, IN 46550. Anyone can help with this project. Sheri Bradway said they will send volunteers supplies.

She said they need people to make kits and quilts. It is free to volunteer your time. Bradway said people donate money to help them pay for supplies. People can also sponsor a quilt for $125.