Helping Chemo Patients One 'Knot' at a Time

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A Newport Beach group called "Knots of Love" is reaching out far beyond southern California to help chemotherapy patients.

Volunteers knit or crochet the caps and send them all over North America.

Marsha Manley tried on her new hat, pulled from a basket of different styles and colors.

"They feel so good, so very comfortable," she said.

Manley is from Los Alamitos, Calif., and is undergoing chemotherapy at Todd Cancer Institute in Long Beach. 

She was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes in May.  The knit caps help keep her warm, since she lost her hair during treatment.

"I understand no one really realizes how tough it is to lose your hair," said Christine Shively.

She donates hats through her non-profit group called "Knots of Love." 

It started in her Newport Beach home two years ago after she crocheted too many hats and didn't know what to do with them.

"A friend of mine had cancer 21 years ago, and she says 'when I came home after a long day with my wig, I would have loved to have had a nice cozy cap to put on,'" Shively recalled.  "I said, 'like a nice cozy pair of slippers' and she said 'yes.'"

More than 2,200 people now volunteer to crochet or knit caps.

So far the hats have gone to 160 cancer treatment centers across North America.  Since 2007, more than 220,000 patients have received a cap.   The group is hoping to attract more volunteers, to help bring comfort to even more people.

To volunteer or find out more about the organization visit the group's Web site.

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