Monday, March 12, 2012

The Chemo Cap Project - Final Report

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the Chemo Cap Project!  Together, we donated 46 beautiful handmade hats to cancer patients.  I ended up delivering most of these hats to the Erickson Hair and Skin Center in Rochester, MN, where my sister Karen was being treated for multiple myeloma.  I will be delivering the rest of the hats to the cancer center where my sister lived in Sioux Falls, SD.

This project was inspired by a comment Karen made to me as she tried on hats back in January.  She said "You should make some of these, Mary.  I bet you could make some really cute hats."  There wasn't much else I could do for Karen at that point, and I thought hearing about the project might lift her spirits.  I set the project deadline for her birthday, March 7.

Sadly, Karen passed away on February 29, just one week before her birthday.  Today I received a thank you note from the Erickson Center: "Thank you for the hats and caps you and your friends have donated to the Erickson Center.  In honor of your sister Karen, we will give them to other patients knowing they will have a special blessing." Although Karen didn't benefit from the project the way I hoped she would, I take comfort knowing that her wish was carried out and that others will be comforted by her wish as well.

My sister Karen understood and appreciated just how short life is and she lived accordingly.  She was generous, thoughtful and considerate.  She accepted people as they were and didn't dwell on their faults.  When Karen experienced personal heartbreak, she faced it and then moved on without becoming bitter.  In fact, she became more open to life in response to her experiences.  Karen was a person of love, hope, forgiveness and grace.  Her example will always be a source of inspiration to me.

Thanks again to everyone who helped with this project.  As promised, I have entered your names into a drawing for a $20 gift certificate valid in my Etsy shop.  The winner of the drawing is Marie O'Donnell of Blaine, MN.  Congratulations, Marie!

As for the rest of you who donated, please know that I would give you each a thank you gift if I could!  I simply cannot tell you how much I appreciate your participation.


Ann Albertson said...

Dear Mary,

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. It must be incredibly painful for you and your family. Your knitting project was inspiring and I am sure, greatly appreciated. Hugs to you-
Annie Albertson (Deephaven)

skrapyram said...

Thank you so much Annie!

sokkgirl said...

46 hats was an amazing accomplishment!
What a beautiful tribute to your Sister!
Thank you for sharing her with us!

skrapyram said...

I was amazed by the enthusiasm of everyone involved, and so grateful! I am sure Karen would have been pleased.

twinsetellen said...

Mary, there is much in your description of your sister that reminds me of you, especially the generous, open heart. I hope that, like you said about her, the heartbreak of losing her will be something you move through, and that your memories of her continue to enrich your life throughout your days. I am so sorry for you and your family.

skrapyram said...

Thank you, Ellen.