TROY — In the back room at the Lion and Lamb Yarn Boutique in downtown Troy, the Cancer Companions are hard at work, crocheting and knitting several hats together with love at every purl.
Cancer Companions is a national Christian-based organization with a mission to train volunteers to provide supportive environments from people affected by cancer and their families.
Ruth Groff is one of the leaders for the Cancer Companions group at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. She explained how Cancer Companions offers sessions for various groups of people depending on how they are affected by cancer.
“There’s eight sessions that we have that answers questions and helps people through their walk with cancer,” she said. “It’s not just the cancer patients, its for people who want to learn about cancer, those who have cancer, those who are caregivers, those who are friends that can walk people through the disease.”
One of the ladies at the meetings who was battling cancer had become so depressed she would not leave her house. To alleviate her feelings of depression she began sewing, which led the Cancer Companions to begin knitting for her and as a group.
“I spoke to my friend Shirley Suiter and she decided she would get in contact with Upper Valley Medical Center, where I had my radiation as well, and then we came to Lion and Lamb Yarn Boutique and asked the owner if it would be okay if we would start to knit the hats and shaws and whatever we could do to help cancer patients,” Groff said.
The items the Cancer Companions make for patients include hats, lap shawls and “knitted knockers,” which are prosthetic breasts that cancer patients who have had mastectomies can wear in their undergarments.
The knitting group usually has about five to eight people show up during the once-monthly knitting sessions. Suiter said the group was open to anyone and that she would gladly teach someone who did not know how to knit how to make a hat or help them where she could.
“It’s basically a good thing to do for cancer patients,” Groff said. “I myself having cancer know what it’s like to not have hair and how comfortable it is to have something on the head as well as lap blanket, since with chemo radiation I got very cold.”
The Cancer Companions meet to knit 2-4 p.m. every second Wednesday of the month at Lion and Lamb Yarn Boutique, 6 E. Main St., Troy.
Cancer Companions is open to anyone every second and fourth Thursday of every month in the Parish Center, Room 3 at St. Patrick’s Church, located at 444 E. Water St. in Troy.
Reach Allison C. Gallagher at [email protected] or on Twitter @Troydailynews.