Special Gifts for Cancer Patients

November 11, 2008 8:23:29 PM PST
A Madera teacher is making a difference in the lives of cancer patients and asking more Valley residents to help.                           |   VISIT THE HAT BOX FOUNDATION   |

Amy Washko delivers free handmade hats to the Children's Hospital Craycroft Oncology Clinic in hopes of making the young patients feel more comfortable and cared for.

Amy Washko/Hat Box Foundation Co-Founder: "Although we cannot cure cancer, we need to heal the human spirit and make these kids and adults feel as though we care and we're putting the effort in."

The second grade teacher began knitting the caps for cancer patients last year after a young family friend who was losing her hair during chemotherapy asked for one to keep her head warm. That simple request sparked the start of the non-profit "Hat Box Foundation" which now serves 19 hospitals across the country.

Kelsey Springsted received a hat from Amy earlier this year. Now, as the 18 year old continues to battle bone cancer, she's also helping deliver the colorful creations.

Kelsey Springsted/Cancer patient: "I just like to help all the patients the best I can, and I like to be there as a volunteer and help do stuff that made me feel good and know it's going to make them feel good."

Amy is hoping to reach more patients, but she needs the help of more volunteers. That's why she's teaching staff members at the Fresno Cancer Center how to make the hats that put smiles on their patients' faces.

Penny Samson/Fresno Cancer Center Medical Asst.: "They are going through a hard time. Their family is going through a hard time. So when they get something that's made by someone who's putting their heart and soul into it, it makes it even more special."

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