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'Knots of Love' make caps for patients

August 5, 2009 5:37:30 AM PDT
A Newport Beach group called "Knots of Love" is reaching out far beyond Orange County. Volunteers knit or crochet caps for chemotherapy patients, and caps have been sent all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico.Marsha Manley tries on a new hat pulled from a basket of different styles and colors. The Los Alamitos resident is undergoing chemotherapy at the Todd Cancer Institute in Long Beach after being diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes in May. Knit caps help keep her warm since she lost her hair during treatment.

"I understand no one really realizes how tough it is to lose your hair until it actually happens," said Knots of Love founder Christine Shively.

Shively donates hats through her non-profit group. It started in her Newport Beach home two years ago after she had crocheted too many hats and didn't know what to do with them.

"A friend of mine had had cancer 21 years ago, and she says, 'You know what, when I came home after long day with my wig, I would have loved to have had a nice cozy cap to put on,'" said Shively. "And I said, 'Like a nice cozy pair of slippers?' And she said yes."

More than 200 people now volunteer to crochet or knit caps.

"I get so much out of this, being able to give back," said volunteer Marcia Jamgotchian. "And it's something fun that I really enjoy doing."

Since 2007, more than 20,000 patients have received a cap.

So far these special hats have gone to 160 cancer treatment centers across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The group is hoping to attract more volunteers to help bring comfort to even more people.

"Having that personal touch, and looking at each of these hats knowing that someone put their love and effort into it, means a lot to me," said Manley.

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