Calling all Knitters!

looking for knitters

It’s time to start preparing for a publicity campaign.

Something that Bronwyn’s cancer journey has given us, that is positive, is the chance to met several celebrities. Most of these meetings can be credited to Gilda’s Club, a charity started in the name of Gilda Radner to give support to those going through cancer treatment and their families. It has shown me that celebs are no different than any of us. They have huge hearts and have no problem using their status to support legitimate, good causes.

The Plan: To knit hats in gold yarn and send them to celebrities with info on the project and ask they take a picture of themselves in the hat and tweet it or vine it or FB it, whatever form of social media they use.

The Need: Knitters! We need knitters to knit ether the September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Hat or Speaking of Cancer out of nice yarn {nothing fuzzy}.

What to do with the hats: Hats could be sent to me. I have some direct connections and Gilda’s Club will help as well. It would be great if we could find others who are willing to find addresses and send hats too in the USA, Europe, Australia and other countries. We will work on literature to send with the hats. Something like a card, not to wordy.

When: Knitting could commence at anytime but we will aim to send out hats in August/September.

Spread the word!

Here is a picture from April, 2013, when we met Maggie Q, star of Nikkia and the up coming movie Divergent. Long story short: She pays our rent {found and furnished our Toronto apartment} as Bronwyn waits for a heart transplant. I will be personally knitting her hat! Bronwyn is the tall one. The other two munchkins are heart transplant recipients.

meeting Maggie-2

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Contracts Go Out to 18 Designers!

My heart is so full right now. I am so touched by the generosity of my fellow designers, willing to donate hours of work to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer.

It has been a rollercoaster of emotions these last few days. One child, who’s FB page I have been following, past away from the same form of cancer my daughter had. Another child of only 7 y/o received a VAD, just like Bronwyn’s, for the same reason she did, chemo induced cardiomyopathy.

It’s all so close to home. So much reason to wallow in sadness.

Then I turn to my work on the Gold Ribbon Craft Project and I find purpose and hope in my designs. I see love and caring from all the beautiful designs submitted by others. All but one of the designers who have contributed are strangers to me. They are not participating because we are friends or because I asked them. The patterns they are working on are an expression of their desire and need to make a difference for children fighting cancer today and those not yet diagnosed.

The positive responses I continue to receive from these giving souls spreads a warmth through my weary heart.

smashingwalnuts sneekpeek-1

Here is a sneak peek of the Smashing Walnuts skirt in honour of Gabriella Miller

Happy 2014, everyone!

…..well, that’s what I’m suppose to say, right? I saw many other pages about childhood cancer posting something to bring in the new year yesterday and kept thinking I should too but what to say?

Many pages, that are similar to ours, wrote elegant thank-yous to everyone who has helped them. I could do that. We certainly owe a LOT of thanks to many people. I get teary eyed just thinking about all the generous, wonderful things people have done for us. Every card, package and warm comment is like a hug that says, “You’re not alone.”

Other pages post pictures with encouraging captions about hope for the future. I could do that. We have a LOT of hope and belief that 2014 will bring us closer to being done here and going home. I get teary eyed just thinking about it.

………

There’s something else I get teary eyed about and I just can’t shake it. In 2014 another 1,500 children will be diagnosed with cancer in Canada. About 375 won’t make it. About 98% of the survivors will endure lifelong, life threatening side effects, drastically affecting quality of life and often taking it too soon. It was the same story last year and it will be the same next year….. unless something changes ……..and in this I have hope!

Much happened in 2013 to give me that hope! We saw awareness happening across the world like never before. I know we will see more this year! We saw advancements in research using new treatments making headlines like there hasn’t been in decades!

So, yes, I have hope! I have dreams! I believe they can come true.
B's gift-2
I took this picture of Bronwyn on Christmas morning opening her gift from her cousin, B.* At first I was disappointed I didn’t get a clearer shot instead of this sideways glance but, actually, it fits my mood. Yes, I have hopes and dreams but I am forever aware of the world of devastation childhood cancer will bring to many families this year.

I will continue to do whatever I can to change that world of devastation. I hope you will join me.

new year 2014

*The picture is a quote from Doctor Who, “I am, and always will be , the optimist, the hoper of far-flung hopes, the dreamer of improbable dreams.”

ps: I created this facebook page for Gold Craft: https://www.facebook.com/knittingforgold
Please like and share it far and wide!

Christmas and Cancer

katie's stone-editI know…..it’s Christmas but childhood cancer doesn’t take a holiday. Today there are children who were just told they have cancer. There are those in hospitals getting chemo, radiation and bone marrow transplants. Some are learning what terminal means having been told they have run out of options or there are no treatments. A few children are breathing their last as their parents hang on to every precious moment with them. And, yes, many families are learning what the holidays are like without their child, sibling, grandchild, nephew or niece.

So to those who would say, “Can’t you take a break?” I reply, “Cancer doesn’t take a break.”

For the approximately 224* families who are discovering for the first time what Christmas is like without their child this year cancer didn’t give them a break. Add those families to the 224 who are enduring their second Christmas in mourning, 224 going through their third and on and on it goes.

Childhood cancer doesn’t go on vacation so neither do I. I will continue to do what I can to raise awareness, to attempt to highlight the importance of this issue and hopefully help make childhood cancer research a priority in 2014. I hope you will join me. If we don’t…. nothing will change and next Christmas 224 more families will visiting a grave stone.

*Statistic taken from the Public Health Agency of Canada website. It is the sum of the number of deaths listed for children under 15 and adolescents. Deaths are only counted up to 5 year post cancer diagnosis and only includes those who have died from cancer. It does not include children who have died from the side effects of treatment.

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/cancer/fs-fi/cancer-child-enfant/index-eng.php
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cd-mc/cancer/fs-fi/cancer-adol/index-eng.php#inc

I’m in militant mode!…..

Don’t tell me that it can’t be done!  I have been working on gathering patterns, knit/crocheted in gold to publish a collection for childhood cancer awareness with all proceeds going to childhood cancer research.

It has been slow going…..to say the least.

I know…….I’m a nobody in the fibre world, just another enthusiast among millions.

I know…….designing patterns is a lot of work and a big ask, especially when asking people to do it for free.

AND I know…….children are dying around me because they have run out of options due to lack of research!
…….children, I personally know, are being diagnosed with cancer for the first time. Two in the last month! Add those to the 1,500 children diagnosed this year in Canada.
…….children, I personally know, are relapsing because what is being done is NOT WORKING!
…….children, I personally know, like my daughter, are suffering from huge, chronic and life-threatening health problems because the toxic treatments damaged them so severely. [98% of ALL childhood cancer survivors suffer this fate.]

I am SICK of this crap!

Yes, I know that a collection of patterns is not going to change the world BUT
maybe, just maybe it could help more people become aware of the issues,
maybe, just maybe the funds raised will help find better treatments.

I can’t do the research. I can’t change the policies that allocate pennies to childhood cancer research when compared to the millions invested in adult cancers. I can’t make my daughter all better.

BUT this I can do! Don’t tell me I can’t! Don’t tell me there are not fibre designers out there who, like me, are willing to donate some time to try and make a difference. I know there are! I know the fibre community to be full of big, generous, fluffy hearts of love! I have found a few but not enough. I keep running into roadblocks and people telling me what a difficult thing I am trying to do.

So I am doing what I should have done months ago…..

HELP!

I am asking all my friends and followers to please help! Looking for something good to do this Christmas? This is it: Ask your friends and followers if they can help.

I need DESIGNERS to donate a knit/crochet pattern, in gold [Gold could be anything from delicate and creamy to bright and happy to dark and splendid and it is the color for childhood cancer awareness.] for free. Contact me for more details.

I need YARNIES to dedicate a colourway in September, 2014, to childhood cancer awareness. [Not looking for yarn donations.]

I need a LOGO DESIGNER to donate time and talents.

I need EDITORS to donate time and talents.

I need PROMOTERS to donate time and talents.

I need KNITTERS/CROCHETERS willing to donate time to make some things to help with promotion.

I need ……SMART PEOPLE, with big hearts, willing to help, to donate time and talents, to do whatever needs to be done.

Thank-you and Merry Christmas!

goldcraft-1

ps: still working on naming the project……really need a logo designer ASAP.

Link

CNN Reports on Gabriella Bill

Click to watch the story CNN did on the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research act, a bill just passed by Congress in the USA to help fund pediatric cancer research. It’s a beautiful story about Gabriella’s parents doing their best to carry on her fight but it includes controversy as politics usually does.