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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : Caps for Cancer/Hugs of Hope

Customer Projects - Get Inspired

Would you like to share a project that you have made from our yarns or our patterns?   Hundreds of thousands of people who care about your favorite craft will see your work.  Any submissions, particularly original ones are welcome, as long as the project was made from Lion Brand Yarn. 

Click here to post it!

Caps for Cancer/Hugs of Hope
Created By: Jean Skahan

Last year, I had to leave my corporate executive job to return home as my mother began treatment for small cell lung cancer. She was 75.

During the long days we had in the Regional Cancer Center in Utica NY, I started to look for something to do that was positive, portable, and would benefit other patients.

I discovered that while the Patient Support Center received donations of fabric scarves for women patients to use after hair loss during treatment, no one was knitting or crocheting hats/caps. So, I started knitting. It also seemed to me that men deserved the option of a warm hat for winter time.

I made four or five hats for my mother first, and then started giving them to the Patient Center. As I would sit somewhere in the building, I started attracting attention, and I recruited a few others to pick up their needles. The Charge RN got her mother to knit and donate 10 hats.

I created a pattern for what I call a Chemo Cape... a poncho that can be worn several ways, and which will not interfere wtih an IV line or Port Catheter. I also started making afghans and lap blankets.

Caring for my mother has not been easy; she is not a good patient, and has been EXTREMELY upset at loosing her independence. Many days the only thing that made me feel better was to knit or crochet a hat, and take it in to be given away.

I have now recruited the help of Westminster Presbyterian Church, and we have asked the faith community in Utica for help. The proceeds of the free will offering from the annual Lenten Lunch series will support this project this year. On March 24th, we are holding a session to teach knitting and crocheting to anyone who wants to learn. Many of the elderly women in the local churches are eager to donate their leftover yarns.

I am now adapting the patterns for cotton yarns- so that we can make hats that will work during the spring and summer.

Nearly 80% of the new cancer cases are in the population aged 55 and older. Many attended treatment alone. I like to think that the hats, scarves, blankets, and ponchos we make will help patients, and their families, understand that others do CARE.

During the most difficult year of my life, knitting and crocheting have been therapy for me, and rallying support for this project has brought a little sunshine back to my life.

I am learning patience.. not only in dealing with my mother!- but also in terms of learning new pattersn.. something I have never before been good at doing.

I have been surprised at how many are willing to help, and I learned that offering to share the knowledge of HOW to knit or crochet makes me feel connected to my grandmother, and generations that came before her.

So, our Hugs of Hope will continue.. and I am blessed.

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