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Arlington woman knits, donates hats to Cascade Valley Hospital patients
ARLINGTON — Mave Zosel knew she was going in for a medical appointment last week, but she didn’t know she’d come home with a new piece of clothing.
Zosel, who is undergoing treatment at Cascade Valley Hospital for an iron deficiency, got an unexpected gift during her visit Thursday, March 25 — a hand-made knitted cap.
“I think it’s amazing,” said Zosel, who was sitting in an oversized chair in the hospital’s new oncology clinic. “I imagine many of the patients here will be able to use these. I can too — to cover up my hair.”
Although Zosel may have a full head of hair, many patients aren’t as fortunate due to chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
To counter the effects of their hair loss, Arlington resident Alyce Matson started donating hats that she and her friends had made.
She started about three years ago when her best friend had cancer.
“I wanted to do something special for her,” Matson said.
“It’s just something I’ve continued to do.”
Matson said she knits hats as she watches television during the evenings. At an average pace, she can complete a hat once every three days.
“I started out making afghans for my grandchildren, which means I’ve made seven of them,” she said. “I have quite a collection of yarn that’s leftover for the hats.”
She even solicits donations from her friends.
“I hit them up and tell them I need more hats,” Matson joked.
Matson has donated more than 100 hats of all shapes and colors to the hospital so far, including three bags worth during her most recent visit. The hats are handed out to patients for free while they undergo treatment.
“It’s amazing,” said Jennifer Egger, community relations coordinator for Cascade Valley Hospital. “I wish we had 10 Alyces.”
Egger said that she’s constantly amazed by the volunteers who donate their time and materials to the hospital.
She said the efforts made by volunteers like Matson make Cascade unique. The hospital has a number of volunteers that greet patients, work in accounting and medical records or contribute items, such as Matson’s caps.
“All of the touches that a community hospital can provide really makes it special,” Egger said.
Matson said donating the hats just makes her feel good.
“It makes me feel like I’m doing something for others that they appreciate and they use,” Matson said. “They seem pretty pleased.”
For more information about becoming a volunteer at Cascade or helping donate to Matson’s cause, call 360-618-7850.