Friday, November 22, 2013

Random caps of kindness


More than 100 handmade hats provide a warm welcome in the lobby of the Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Room. Hand-knit by 16 CT technologists in the MGH Department of Radiology, the colorful creations are a gift for those who have lost their hair because of chemotherapy.

The knitting began as a fun project outside of work, a Facebook group created to learn about knitting, to share ideas and lend advice. Last winter the group decided it was time to apply their honed skills and fine-tuned craft toward something meaningful.

“Not a day went by that someone didn’t say, ‘I left a hat for you,’” says Cheryl Carlson, who led the knitting group and collected the hats. “I feel honored and proud to be a part of this wonderful group of artists. When we started, I expected only 50 hats to be made. The generosity of spirit of these ladies is amazing.”

The CT technologists see many patients in varying stages of diagnosis and treatment for different types of cancer. They also have first-hand knowledge – some as survivors themselves, and others with family members who have cancer. The group browsed through many hat patterns, and when they did not find what they wanted, some designed their own. The result was 138 hand-knit
hats, all donated to the MGH Cancer Center on Oct. 28.

“It is incredibly meaningful that somebody cared enough to knit and donate for a patient’s benefit,” says Anne Sunshine, LICSW, of the Blum Cancer Resource Room. “To be able to go over to that shelf and choose a hat that is unique and special makes people so happy.”

Carlson says the knitters don’t expect praise or crave recognition. “They just hope that one day they will see someone wearing one of their hats.” 

The knitters involved were Cheryl Carlson, Shannon Barron, Wendy Bullock, Cheryl Carlson, Joanne Forde, Suong Huynh, Maggie Kave, Michelle Lacey, Tracy Neuville, Emmaline Olenik, Jenny Riley,Bernadette Ruchwa, Betsey Sicard, Kimberly Sienkiewicz, Raghda Tabbara, Terry Webb.

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