Knit For Life is a nonprofit organization that is changing the lives of many cancer patients, such as mesothelioma warriors. While performing the art of knitting, it welcomes both patients and their caregivers to come together and express themselves.

There are always two sides to every story, especially when it comes to a patient and being a caregiver. The recovery process and treatment methods can take a toll both physically and emotionally on a mesothelioma patient and their caregiver.

“Something about knitting blocks mental and physical pain and allows you to be present in that moment of creating something beautiful,” stated the manager of the Community Cancer Program at Franciscan Health Services.

Organizations like Knit For Life help individuals get through this difficult milestone in their lives. They help with the healing process and support those that are directly affected by cancer. It is important that both patients and their caregivers know that they are not alone.

How Knit For Life Started

Knit For Life logoThe Knit For Life organization was created in 1997 by cancer survivor Tanya Parieaux. While she was undergoing treatment and in the process of recovery, she realized the coping and healing aspects that knitting had for her.

“It is so soothing to my soul, quieting the fears and angst of dealing with a life-threatening diagnosis… providing a way to create and reach forward in the “new” life that continues to unfold,” said Parieaux.

Tanya knew she wanted to share this feeling with others in the cancer community, but how?

By surprise, Tanya was given the opportunity to share the healing aspects of knitting when the University of Washington Medical Center asked her to start a class for their patients and caregivers. Today the legacy of Knit For Life occurs at many hospitals, including the Swedish Cancer Institute that is recognized for its mesothelioma program.

“I have the privilege of using my knitting skills to help other patients in hospital settings find joy and laughter while they are going through treatment and recovery. Knit for Life grew out of my passion and it has become my career,” stated Parieaux.

Knitting Therapy Helping Mesothelioma Warriors

Hands of person knittingResearchers believe that there are many benefits to patients and their caregivers that participate in therapeutic knitting. In fact, many individuals that participate in this form of therapy believe that it helps them to form a state of mindfulness meditation.

Knitting is also believed to help with:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
“It takes patients away from their treatments, worries, and fears,” said the program director at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Supporting Knit for Life

There are many ways that you can show your support for Knit For Life. You can volunteer or you can even start a program right in the heart of your own community. The guidelines for volunteering and starting a program can be found on their website.

Through donations and volunteers, the nonprofit is able to keep its mission going. All tax-deductible donations help supply patients and their caregivers with complimentary knitting supplies needed for them to participate in the program.

“It has been the high point of every week; something to look forward to every day. Cancer is secondary to knitting,” stated a caregiver participant from the Seattle Cancer Alliance.

Image of Nurse Jenna.For more details about organizations like Knit for Life that can help mesothelioma patients, please contact patient advocate Karen Ritter at 888-385-2024 extension 102.

    Sources & Author

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About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is a content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.