Resolve to give the gift of comfort and warmth all year long
January 01, 2014
By Brian Aylward, BS, CHES
The holiday season is the perfect time to give back to the ones we love, our community, and those who have yet to enter our lives. For many of us, small, simple acts of kindness are easiest to introduce in our efforts to give back, especially when we are busy getting back to work or school in the new year. Thankfully, giving back doesn’t mean you have to give up a huge amount of your time!
One unique way to make a huge impact in our community is by using your hands, heart, and brain, together—to knit! The Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) has been lucky enough to have the support of community members near and far who have donated thousands of knitted hats for patients undergoing cancer treatment. These donations come at prime time during the holiday season but act as gifts all year long!
During chemotherapy, many patients experience hair loss, resulting in low self-confidence, heightened sensitivity to fabric and weather conditions, and with high prices of medical care, patients often face limited flexible income to purchase headwear.
With the support from our patients, caregivers and community, the SCI has been able to provide free knitted hats to patients undergoing treatment for over nine years. Knitting hats is fast, and provides both literal and figurative warmth directly to patients at a time when they may feel most vulnerable during their treatment. If you’re an experienced knitter, or someone who wishes to learn how to knit, or would love to knit for a cause, join a Knit for Life group at either the SCI First Hill or Issaquah campus.
This network of volunteers uses knitting as a healing experience to enhance the lives of cancer patients, their family members and caregivers during treatment and recovery. The group provides a supportive environment for beginners and experienced knitters. All knitting materials are provided.
True Center, Healing Forum, 5th Floor
Wednesdays (ongoing), 10 a.m.-noon
Swedish Cancer Institute, First-floor Lobby
Thursdays (ongoing), 1-3 p.m.
Medical Office Building, Main Lobby, in front of fireplace
Mondays (ongoing), 1-3 p.m.
The SCI is currently seeking knitted hats, scarves, mittens, and shawls of all shapes and sizes! Donations can be dropped off or mailed to any one of our cancer education centers.
Cancer Education Center Locations:
- Ballard Campus
Medical Oncology & Treatment Center, 2 East
5300 Tallman Ave. N.W., Seattle, WA 98107
- Edmonds Campus
Medical Oncology Building, 2nd Floor, Suite 217
21632 Highway 99, Edmonds, WA 98026
- First Hill Campus
Arnold Building, A-Floor West & 5th Floor
1221 Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98104
- Issaquah Campus
Medical Office Building, First Floor, Suite 1090
751 N.E. Blakely Drive, Issaquah, WA 98029
To learn more about Knit for Life, visit www.knitforlife.org or call the Swedish Cancer Education Center at 206-386-3200.