Brave Soul Blankets was founded in January 2017 by Melaney, who had a desire to bring joy and comfort to adults with life-altering illnesses. Brave Soul Blankets is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that creates handmade blankets for adults ages 18-45 years old battling life-altering illnesses, mothers on bed rest with high risk pregnancies or parents spending time in the NICU with their preemie within the United States & Canada. Brave Soul Blankets are provided free of charge to each nominated recipient, personalized from quality fabric, prewashed and professionally packaged to provide a “comfort in a snuggle.” Brave Soul Blankets is supported by help of others through donations, sponsorship, and funding from our Etsy Shop.
About the Founder
Brave Soul Blankets was founded by Melaney Niemiec in January 2017. The inspiration behind Brave Soul Blankets came from Melaney’s own battle with life-altering chronic illnesses. In February 2016 at 22-years-old, while working as a pediatric neuro-trauma nurse with a passion for Crossfit and hiking, Melaney became very ill. After spending 32-days in the hospital, Melaney was diagnosed with several incurable illnesses. Since the initial diagnosis of Dysautonomia (POTS), Melaney has also been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, Mitochondrial Disease, Global Digestive Tract Paralysis (including feeding tube-dependent Gastroparesis), Mast Cell Activation Disorder and other comorbidities. Much time has been spent in the hospital, infusion clinics, or appointments. Having a personalized cozy blanket from home had become a source of comfort and support.
As time went on, Melaney realized how much a simple blanket could brighten a person’s day. Having a personalized gift delivered on a difficult day can help so many to feel loved, supported and becomes part of the journey. Finding there are many gift programs for children with life-altering illnesses but not adults walking a difficult journey, Melaney decided to start one for a population like herself, ages 18-45 years old. This nonprofit is her way of spreading love to others in need and giving back to the community who has helped her in times of need.
Melaney has many interests, including patient advocacy and health research. She recently achieved her Masters in Science of Nursing (2017) and plans to use this degree to further awareness of chronic illness and support in the nursing community. When she is not busy with Brave Soul Blankets, you can find her spending time with friends and family, trying out new DIY projects and recipes, or dreaming of new travel destinations.