Sisters Ana and Silvia Fuentes, from South Pasadena in California know from first hand experience about the toll cancer takes on both the patient and the family.
When their mother was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer it came as a bolt from the blue. “In that moment we couldn’t imagine or predict how much our lives would change and how losing her would force us to find meaning amidst the pain” Silvia told Kudofeed. “Grief is an interesting experience, it often isolates us from the rest of the world. It can lead someone to believe they are the “only ones” who have ever lost a loved one, when in reality many of us have.”
Sadly their mother lost her battle in 2014, and the girls lost a beloved mother, their role model, and their moral compass. “She instilled in us from an early age the importance of giving and loving unconditionally,” said Silvia. “And through her example we found that by helping others we could find new meaning in what happened to us and finally begin to heal.”
After their mother’s passing they started the Craft’d With Love Project and kicked off their first “Share the Warmth” season as a way to honour the memory of their mother. In that first season 25 scarves were donated to patients undergoing treatment in local cancer centres in California. Since then, over 700 hand knitted scarves have been donated to patients across the US.
Silvia explained, “we saw how a kind gesture can do wonders for the human spirit, and help keep hope alive in the most dire of situations. Our mission is to spread love and encouragement. We want patients to know we are cheering them on as they navigate through this scary and difficult journey. Our scarves give them a warm, familiar, object they can carry with them as they undergo treatment in cold hospital rooms.
“Each scarf we deliver is meant to provide a sense of encouragement and comfort that are associated with knowing that someone is thinking of you and is wishing you well.”
With help from organisations such as the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House, the Imerman Angels, Khloe Kares, the Little Lambs of Utah, the Beauty Bus Foundation, and the Foundation for Living Beauty the project is extending its reach to the homeless, and children in foster care.
The project also runs “Make-Your-Scarf” Pop-Up events where recipients can customise their scarf to match their style by working with a volunteer. And the sisters are making it their target to double the number of events in 2017/18.
“Spreading kindness doesn’t take a lot of money and it isn’t about fancy gestures,” Silvia says. “It’s about empathy and humanity. Doing good begins with doing what you can where you are at. We all have something special to share with the world. We are grateful to all our family and friends who have supported us through personal donations and volunteer hours.”
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