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Pink Scarves Stitched with Love and Care

Left to Right: Debbie Yahn, Parent and Children Together (PACT) Coordinator, Christina Davila, PACT parent, Carrie Alexander, PACT parent, Cindy Paris, Breast Cancer Survivor, Lisa Haskins, Chief Radiation Therapist at WCA Hospital, Rosella Dufresne, PACT Grandparent and Silvia Montanez, PACT parent, model scarves made for breast cancer patients.

Once again WCA patients undergoing cancer treatment received thoughtful gifts from the community. Debbie Yahn, PACT Parent Involvement Coordinator began a knitting and crocheting circle several months ago with parents in her Love School family Pre-K program. She was inspired for this project by a basket of pink items being raffled off to support local breast cancer survivors during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"Knitting and crocheting pink scarves for breast cancer survivors seemed like the perfect community project," Debbie said. "In the PACT program we do a lot of hands-on activities. Several of the parents have learned to knit during our sessions, while at the same time we all enjoyed these special moments together."

Approximately eighty women a year are diagnosed with breast cancer at WCA according to the hospital cancer registry. The registry is an important aspect of WCA's award winning cancer care program. The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer approves only one in four cancer programs across New York State.

"This is fantastic," said Cindy Paris, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer and the first woman to receive a scarf. "These gifts are made from the heart. It gives us hope when people we don't know are thinking about us and showing they care."

PACT is a program provided by Jamestown Community Learning Council (JCLC), in collaboration with Jamestown Public Schools. The mission of JCLC is to establish effective relationships between home and school, which ultimately improves a child's academic development, emotional growth and physical well-being. A few of the parents have had close family members touched by cancer. In their words, "helping others makes us feel good about ourselves".

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