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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's Sisters Week - Meet Debbie Fring!

Debbie (left) and Susan (right) fashioning hand knit hats!
We have something special going on right here...and it isn't just the Ann Norling Knit Red giveaway (stop by tomorrow for the unveiling of the winner!). It's sisters week here on the Stitch Red Blog and we're extremely excited to introduce you to Debbie Fring and Susan Glenfield - the Bell Sisters! Both of these wonderful ladies are contributing adorable patterns to our Stitch Red campaign and they so graciously agreed to share their stories with you this week!

Let me introduce you to bellsisterDebbie - she (and her sister) have been designing chemo hats since their father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2003. Not only supporting chemo patients with their cuddly caps, but now supporting heart health awareness! Here's Debbie's story...

Why did you choose to get involved with the Stitch Red Campaign? What does fighting heart disease mean to you?

Nanny & Debbie!
The Stitch Red campaign caught my eye, first, because I love Jimmy Beans Wool so much and noticed it while shopping on their website - ordering more yarn! As I read more about it, I really was shocked to learn that heart disease is the #1 killer of women, more than all cancers combined! My sister (Susan Glenfield, AKA bellsistersusan on Ravelry.com) and I have been focused on designing stylish chemo caps since our dad's diagnosis with lung cancer in 2003. We have been designing and knitting chemo hats like crazy as cancer seems to be so common these days. My daughter is an oncology nurse, so we frequently donate our hats to her cancer center and, thus, hear a lot about people with cancer diagnoses. But actually, for women, heart disease is really the bigger, perhaps more silent problem. Heart disease runs like crazy in our family, so I really had a wake up call, personally.

What product have you created for the Stitch Red campaign? What was your inspiration behind it?

I created the Lizzie Hat pattern (shown below). My inspiration was my 103 year old grandmother, Elizabeth, who only recently passed away! She had one strong, healthy heart (and good genes)! 

Do you have a heart healthy tip to share?

For me, I tend to be much too serious for my own good! So, to manage my stress better I make an effort to be more lighthearted, laugh more, be more positive and optimistic. I am fortunate to be married to a very funny guy who keeps me laughing and who is just a big optimist. 

What gets your heart racing?

My husband tells me that HE gets my heart racing! Must be true, as we celebrate 40 years of marriage this August (congratulations!) He has really helped me to laugh and not be so serious. He is a big "role model" for exercise...I don't think he has missed a day of exercise his whole life! He has a sunny disposition and I think that has helped him to stay so vibrantly healthy all these years.

As far as knitting goes, there is great reward for me in getting feedback from women who knit my chemo hats for friends or family. I love hearing how those hats bring smiles or a bit of joy to their journey through chemo treatment; especially knowing the hats were knit with love, especially for them! 

This sister team sure is sticking it to heart disease one stitch at a time! We just love their enthusiasm for taking a stand to support cancer, and now, heart disease! Stay tuned, this Thursday we will have Susan Glenfield (bellsistersusan) share her Stitch Red story!

How does knitting get YOU through life's ups and downs?

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