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Brotherly Love: Project Chemo Crochet

By Susan Barnett

HATBORO, Pa. (CBS) -- Two Hatboro-Horsham High School teachers wanted to make blankets for cancer patients. They asked for a little help online, and it started pouring in.

Inside Nicole Dow-Macosky's Fort Washington basement are stacks and stacks of 9" by 9" squares that were crocheted by hand. They're a tangible reminder of Nicole's mother, Marianne Dow, who loved to crochet, and who died of breast cancer in November.

"Really for a year, my purpose was taking care of her and my daughter, and I feel like since she passed away in November, my purpose was gone," Nicole says.

In January, Nicole decided to crochet for cancer patients. She invited her friend Susan Milnazik to help.

"What about those square blankets with the patchwork?" Nicole suggested. "We can make squares! And from there it snowballed into 'let's collect squares from all over the world.'"

"Nicole? She acts!" says Susan.

They posted a request for crocheted squares on their website, Other crochet fans spread it on Twitter.

A few weeks later, Nicole and Susan checked their post office box, "and it was stuffed," Susan said. "We jumped up and down and screamed so loud."

Nicole and Susan have made 50 blankets since they started.

Maureen Johnston got one of the first blankets. She's been living with cancer for four years.

"When I sit there in treatment, I'll sit there and just imagine all the people who have been a part of it," Maureen explains.

So far, they've received squares from nine states and Canada.

Susan is a breast cancer survivor herself. She knows how a blanket can help.

"I know when I went for chemo I always had someone with me, but you're still lying there, and it's still you alone no matter what," she remembers.

Nicole says, "I feel like behind every one of these blankets is my mom and her spirit. I hope these blankets are giving people the strength that she had."

You can send 9" by 9" squares, washable yarn, or nominate a blanket recipient at The address is Project Chemo Crochet, P.O. Box 386, Fort Washington, PA 19034.

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