Teresita and the Hearts Of Love members really show what can be done when we put our creative talents to work. Do click your needles together and wave your hooks as we welcome Teresita to Knit1fortheRoad...
A. I have always been active in helping others with health care information. I have coordinated several Health Education Fairs and also have done workshops sharing information about Breast Cancer Education and Prevention. Then on March 18th, 2008, my husband received a Prostate cancer diagnosis right on our anniversary. It changes things all in an instant. So one month later I had begun this Ravelry group which has evolved into what it is today,“HEARTS OF LOVE” where members create chemo caps with fashion flair and radiance to brighten the days of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Q. Do you have favorite items that the group makes for cancer patients?
A. Our group enjoys making chemo caps for all ages now....infants, children, teens and adults. There are so many children that at such a young age already are diagnosed with cancer. I call these little warriors “THE YOUNG and SO BRAVE” and we actually share info with our members about children with cancers for their parents and family. In addition to chemo caps, we also making scarves which pair up nicely with the chemo caps. Dishcloths and washcloths are also very thoughtful gifts to make as well along with comfort shawls and lapghans. These would be our favorite items.
Q. Hearts of Love is growing by leaps and bounds. How do you juggle being the moderator with everyday life?
A. Keeping “HEARTS OF LOVE” active and enjoyable for our members is just part of my everyday. It is a way to channel my energy into inspiring others and empowering others that we can all make a difference...... you could say that “YES we can!” So this is just part of my everyday life and it brings joy into my life knowing that I too am doing something to fight back against all that cancer hurts and takes away from us.
Q. Do you knit and crochet? What are you currently learning or working on?
A. I crochet, knit, loom knit and also enjoy plastic canvas needlepoint. I work on chemo caps, dishcloths, and baby items (blankies, booties, bibs, washcloths and bibs) for my local chapter of STITCHES FROM THE HEART charity organization that I began for my community in June, 2008. I am the Area Representative for our chapter which meets monthly. I am also a “blanketeer” for my local PROJECT LINUS.
Q. I saw a thread called What’s Cooking - regarding recipes. Do you have any special recipes that you can recommend to take away some winter chill?
A. I do love a good bowl of 3 alarm chili. Of course here in California we aren't struggled with the freezing snow and harsh winter conditions as many parts of the country where our friends do live. Our members add fun recipes to match the season or just a favorite. There are some nice recipes for “Chinese New Year of the Ox” and of course already some dinners to make for Valentine's Day.”
Q. How have your group members inspired you?
A. I enjoy the personal letters that members write me and share their stories with me. I have made some wonderful friends in this group that write me often and make me very happy to be their friends. I think inspiration and joy is reciprocal..... as you inspire others, it comes back to you twice over. This group is all about caring and realizing that we can all reach out and warm someone's heart in a loving way. It doesn't matter where we live or our age or our ethnic background. We are all connected by being here and can do so much to brighten the days of our lives.
Q. Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t covered?
A. Taking care of ourselves is very important. We all get busy. Yet it is very important to learn about lowering cancer risks in our own lives. There are controllable and uncontrollable risks that we face. We can fight back against cancers in learning what factors we can control. This is something that we can do.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis does change things. But it is up to us how we are going to go on with our lives and fight back to go forward. There is much more to this disease than simply the radiation and the chemo or whatever other treatment one receives. It's an entire process of being informed and the many doctor visits and then the treatment. Then there is life after treatment which can be difficult in learning how to cope with the physical, mental, and emotional changes that we have undergone. So being a friend and support to someone battling cancer and learning about support groups is indeed a special way that we can help others. Cancer survivors will tell you that the support they received from others was a big part of their healing and recovery. So come on over to “HEARTS OF LOVE Ravelry” and visit our “Hope & Support Resources” for lots of very helpful resources. Each of us can really make a difference and no amount of love is ever too small!
Thank you Margaret for this interview and for thinking about “HEARTS OF LOVE.” Glad to have you as a member and continued best of good luck with your book and good health wishes to you!