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Assistance League of Bend knits hats full of support

By Brittany Weiner
Published On: Oct 29 2013 08:51:39 PM CDT

For many, hats are just another article of clothing, but as NewsChannel 21's Brittany Weiner show us, for one local organization it's a way to give back.

BEND, Ore. -

Cindy Briggs is a fighter.

"I found out I had cancer in February of 2012," Briggs said. "I had ovarian and uterine cancer."

She had surgery immediately after her diagnosis, and learned once she recovered, she would have to  follow up with chemotherapy treatments.

"Almost immediately, your hair starts to fall out," said Briggs. "As someone who's always had long hair, that wasn't something I was looking forward too."

Briggs says her hair started falling out within days of her first treatment. It was then she found support in the Assistance League of Bend, a 21 Cares for Kids partner.

"Well we do it, because we know there's a need in the community for chemo hats," said one Assistance League of Bend knitter.

Every other Saturday, a group of women from the Assistance League of Bend meets to knit, sew and crotchet hats for those battling cancer in Central Oregon.

Some of them do it to offer support, others because they can relate.

"I went through chemo and radiation, and that's what loses your hair," said another knitter.

The women have created more than 500 hats since June of last year.

Every other Friday, the hats are delivered to Bend Memorial Clinic and the St. Charles Cancer Center and medical oncology building.
 
There, cancer patients just like Briggs can take what they like, at no cost.

"The hats, something like this is just like getting a hug," said Briggs. "You feel warm, you feel loved, and it means a lot."

Now cancer-free, Briggs also has her hair back.

She continues to wear the hats, a symbol of the support she needed for survival.

"It meant a lot to me to have those hats there," said Briggs. "It's a small thing, but those small things mean a lot when you're going through something that's so hard."

On top of the knit hats, the non-profit also offers sewn T-shirt sleeping hats, summer hats and fleece hats.

To learn more about the Assistance League of Bend you can visit their website at assistanceleaguebend.com

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