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Monday, 20 August 2012 00:00

Janome Machines Making A Difference At ConKerr Cancer Center

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505-janome-machines-at-conkerr-cancer-centerVolunteers sew personalized pillowcases to encourage seriously ill children.

Where do you spend your time if you’re sick or seriously injured? In bed. So the national non-profit Conkerr Cancer Foundation has collected and given away more than 340,000 handmade pillowcases to children struggling with "life-changing" injuries and illnesses.

Recently, one of their local chapters, ConKerr Cancer Los Angeles, was given several new Janome sewing machines and a serger by an anonymous donor-- three Decor Computer 2012 machines and a Magnolia 7034D.

Regional Coordinator Shirlee Walker says that volunteers have been using the new machines to turn out hundreds of pillowcases. "All four machines have been worked hard almost every weekend by many users and have been awesome machines."

She says that previously they were sewing on an assortment of used machines, each of which had its own problem. So they were especially happy to get the new Janomes.

So far this year ConKerr Cancer Los Angeles has sewn and delivered 2,005 pillowcases. But their big push will come in September when they begin their MILES OF PILLOWCASE SMILES campaign. See photos of sewing volunteers and their creative pillowcases on the ConKerr Cancer LA Facebook page.

The ConKerr Cancer Foundation was started 10 years ago by Cynthia Kerr when her own son, Ryan, was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer at age 12. At first they thought he had beaten it, but it eventually came back and took his life at 17. A lifetime sewer, Cindy would make Ryan new pillowcases to help lift his spirits during many surgeries and long hospital stays. He looked forward to each one and as his mom created cases with his favorite themes (like pizza and sports) they helped him to be optimistic and keep his spirits up.

During Ryan’s illness he helped Cindy start ConKerr Cancer. Using his knowledge of the Web, he built a website for the organization, which was soon attracting offers of help and much needed funds. Read FamilyCircle Magazine's profile of the organization.

If you want to use your sewing skills to enourage sick kids, visit the national ConKerr website and find your local chapter. 

Find Out More About The ConKerr Cancer Foundation

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