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How You Can Offer Warmth, Comfort, and Love to Michigander Cancer Patients

If you live in or near Michigan, or you simply want to give your all to help people fighting cancer, you’ll want to know about Knit Michigan

Some of us may need to imagine what it’s like to require chemotherapy to fight cancer. Others of us don’t need to imagine it, because we’ve lived it.

I recently read a description of spending time in an infusion room, where chemotherapy treatments take place. I learned two important bits of information:

1) Rooms tend to be chilly. (Not surprising; I’m not sure I’ve ever been in any sort of medical room or office that wasn’t chilly!)

2) The medicine delivered via IV is below body temperature. (Now that was a surprise to me!)

Combine these two factors, and you have a rather chilly experience.

The charity known as Knit Michigan knows this all too well, and since 2007, they have done what they could to help make cancer patients more comfortable!

For more knitting charities serving cancer patients and survivors, take a look here!

The Many Ways Knit Michigan Helps Warm Cancer Patients

Knit Michigan offers cancer patients many comforting and warming items.

1) Chemo caps. No surprise here! Chemo caps are one of the most frequent items created by charity knitters, and it’s little wonder why. They are desperately needed!

The hair loss caused by chemotherapy is uncomfortable, and often times it actually hurts. The need for soft, cozy chemo caps to help protect those sensitive scalps cannot be overstated.

2) Lap blankets. Remember those chilly infusion rooms? A lap blanket helps make a cancer patient feel more comfortable while receiving their treatment. What better way can you imagine to help someone fighting cancer?

3) Pillows. Knit Michigan offers a variety of pillows to cancer patients. They include:

  • portable pillows (pillows with a little strap attached for easy carrying)
  • mastectomy pillows (to increase comfort surrounding the stitched area following surgery)
  • neck pillows
  • Port-a-Cath pillows (little pillows that attach to seat belts to cushion an area that becomes very tender from chemotherapy treatments).
Examples of knitted knockers

4) Knitted knockers. If you haven’t heard about these little wonders by now, here’s the deal. These are knitted and stuffed breast prosthetics that are offered following mastectomies. The benefits of knitted knockers over silicone prosthetics are enormous, including:

  • lighter weight
  • cooler to keep in a bra or swimsuit
  • completely washable
  • far more comfortable
  • less expensive (in fact, they’re always free for cancer patients, as opposed to silicone prosthetics that are often very expensive and not always covered by insurance)

Here’s a video where you can learn about the origins of Knit Michigan!

How You Can Help

Obviously, you can help by creating these comfort items!

If you are a knitter, you’ll definitely want to take a look at the many delightful chemo cap patterns, as well as a knitted knocker pattern. Do you prefer crochet? You can crochet chemo caps. You can create fleece blankets with scalloped crocheted edges. Or, you can create crocheted knockers.

(If you knit chemo caps, be sure to read the helpful tips offered by a cancer patient on this page.)

Knitting comfort items together

And if you love to sew, pillows may be right up your alley!

Patterns for all of the above projects can be found on this page. Also, be sure to read up on guidelines for materials for all comfort items. Don’t forget to read this page!

Knit Michigan asks that all comfort items have Comfort Tags attached. You can find these on this page. Simply print them, cut them out, fill them out, and attach them to your comfort items before you send or drop them off.

If you live in Michigan, you’ll likely find a drop-off location near you! This page will show you all the magnificent yarn shops that have consented to be Knit Michigan drop-off locations. If you don’t live in Michigan or don’t live near a drop-off location, you may simply send your creations to the address posted on the same page.

(By the way, if you own a yarn shop in Michigan and would like to be a drop-off location, send an email to the address listed at the bottom of the page!)

Need some knitting, crochet, or sewing inspiration? Take a look at the Thank You notes shown on this page. I defy you to read any more than 3 notes before you’re filled with determination to donate your time and efforts.

Whether you’re a cancer survivor, love someone who’s survived cancer, or simply an enthusiastic knitter/crocheter who wishes to help cancer patients, Knit Michigan would love to take in your time and talents!

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2 Comments

  1. Nicole,

    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is offering a number of fundraising challenges, including the August Knitting Fundraiser. I registered and posted to invited “friends” on Facebook. In two days I have raised $180 for St. Jude and the children they treat. They are currently not accepting handmade chemo caps. However, I am hoping that my prayer shawl project can be given to the mother of a child at St. Jude.

    Cynthia