By Cherri Gregg
HORSHAM, Pa. (CBS) — When Hatboro-Horsham High School teacher Nicole Dow-Macosky lost her mother, Gloria Marianne Dow, to breast cancer last year, she wanted to find a way to honor her.
“In this family, blankets have always been important,” says Dow-Macosky (at right in photo). “When my mom was diagnosed in December , I gave her a blanket for Christmas and it had all of our family photos. She had the blanket with her every day.”
Mokowsky says her mother used to crochet. And after her mother died, she decided to learn the craft for herself.
She asked her friend, Susan Milnazik, a cancer survivor, to attend a crochet class and the idea for Project Chemo Crochet came up soon after.
“I wanted to remember my mom,” she says. “By the end of my conversation [with Susan] we had decided to take [crochet] squares from all over the world and create blankets.”
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In just two months, the project has spread, boasting volunteers from local schools, nine different states and Canada, all donating crocheted squares.
“We’ve had over 1,500 squares being donated,” she says. “We have over 54 blankets completed, and we’ve given 27 blankets away.”
The project is an extension of Pink Warriors, a group Macosky created a couple of years ago to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day to honor Marianne while she was fighting cancer.
Pink Warriors also raised more than $6,000 for cancer research at a “boobie-que,” but Macosky says she wanted it to do more.
“We wanted to do something where we can help the people suffering at this moment,” she says.
“Her passion helps me,” says Milnazik, who has been cancer-free for three years. She and Macosky stitch and ship the blankets to cancer patients.
“It’s great to be able to help people,” she says. “When I finish one and I press it, it makes me feel connected to whoever is getting the blanket.”
Blanket recipient Maureen Johnston of Horsham (below) says the gift helps her weather the battle against breast cancer.
“It keeps you warm during hours and hours of procedures,” says Johnston. “It’s beautiful and it takes your mind off of things and puts you in a better place.”
Macosky says folks can nominate a cancer fighter to receive a blanket at www.pinkwarriorsbattle.com. She says she hopes the blankets provide comfort and support.
“My mom was a fighter,” says Macosky. “So giving these blankets is like giving them my mom’s fighting spirit.”
If you or your community would like to donate crochet squares, you can send them to:
Project Chemo Crochet
PO Box 386
Fort Washington, PA 19034