Knitters Unite for Cancer Awareness

On a beautiful August evening, women of all ages and backgrounds gathered at the Sylvania Historical Village during the Sylvania Community Arts Commission’s Red Bird Art Walk. They came equipped with knitting and crocheting needles, various colors and shades of yarn, and one bond that connected all of them — a personal experience with cancer.

The inaugural Friends for Life Knit-Up for Cancer drew a crowd of nearly 20 individuals. A woman from Findlay who was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer last year. A Sylvania mother who lost her own mom to sarcoma at a young age. A wife from Toledo whose husband is now a five-year prostate cancer survivor. They came to the event to knit and crochet a colorful yarn art installation that represents all the cancers affecting our community members in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. But the instant connections, shared stories and new friendships is what kept them there until dusk.

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“The act of everyone doing this together and being affected by cancer creates this atmosphere of closeness and community, and people want to talk,” said Robin Charney, outreach coordinator for ProMedica Cancer Institute.

Charney highly recommends hobbies and other social activities for individuals who are experiencing a chronic illness or supporting a loved one.

“Knitting can put you in a meditative state; it’s a great form of therapy. Sometimes, it’s really important for people who are dealing with cancer or another family emergency to slow down and participate in artistic activities like this,” Charney said.

Watch scenes from the knit-up and hear what this event meant to its participants in the video above.

The Yarn Art for Cancer Awareness installation is available for viewing now until November 1, 2016 at the Sylvania Historical Village, 5717 Main Street in Sylvania. If you would like to add your mark to the art piece, please email

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