As a former oncology nurse, Holly Christensen has seen the scary and painful world of cancer firsthand. Upon learning that her friend’s daughter had been diagnosed with the disease, Holly thought about what she could do to bring some “magic and light” to this little girl’s life for the challenges she was about to face.
While Holly knows that among the many side effects patients experience, hair loss is not the most severe, it can be very difficult for cancer patients to come to terms with, especially children. So she had an idea, to make a wig for her friend’s daughter that was both comfortable and whimsical.
“Knowing how difficult it would be for her to lose her hair, I made her a Rapunzel yarn wig and sent it in the mail. She was overcome with joy. My friend remarked at how many other little girls in that hospital would love to have such a special gift as it had such an impact on her daughter’s demeanor and happiness during her treatments,” said Holly.
With that, Holly began to organize what she thought was going to be a small project, creating a couple dozen wigs to send to young cancer patients. With that in mind, she put up a Facebook post asking for yarn donations. Within just a few hours, she was flooded with responses, and The Magic Yarn Project was born.
“What started as a small project has snowballed into something much bigger and has many people eager to help. The project was created to bring some magic into the lives of brave, little cancer fighters and to help community members get involved,” Holly explains on the project website. “These little girls need to keep their scalps covered and warm — so why not provide them with a comfortable head-covering that allows them an escape from their cancer?”
To make the wigs, Holly and volunteers crochet little beanies using extra-soft yarn, and then transforms them into storybook hairstyles. Currently, The Magic Yarn Project hosts yarn wig making workshops in Holly’s hometown Palmer, Alaska, and they are also working on a video tutorial, which will be up on their website soon.
Because the wigs are free to the recipient families, Holly and her friend Bree Hitchcock have launched a fundraising campaign to set up a non-profit 501c(3) organization. The funds raised will help them to increase wig production and delivery. So far, The Magic Yarn Project has made and distributed about 100 wigs.
For more info on volunteering, attending a yarn wig workshop, to request a wig for an individual or cancer facility, visit The Magic Yarn Project website. All photos via Magic Yarn Project Facebook page.