Thursday, 28 January 2016


I think it's a date that every cancer patient remembers, pretty much about the same as "where were you when you heard about the 9/11 attacks" 

Being told I had cancer everything turned into a blur and I really did not remember much of what the consultant said but I will never forget the look in his eyes or the fact he took my hand to tell me.  I knew life was to change just the way I did on September 11th 2001.

For various reasons I couldn't do chemo or radiotherapy so being told I had cancer was actually 12 days after my surgery and in fact cancer free, so mind boggling really. But it being the first day out of bed and struggling with an uncooperative leg which still is today I was beginning to see how life would change,  getting home meant needing carers for everyday tasks and the fatigue was and is awful. I'd also need scans and appointments every 3 months which would cause scanxiety around the results.  

Maybe it's something that only those who have experienced it first or second via immediate family but the cancerversary can cause a lot of mixed emotions some may have dark thoughts which should be acknowledged as being ok while some celebrate it as a sign of life and continued survival. Others let. It pass by as another day, each way is equally acceptable and those around them should acknowledge their way of marking the day. 

  I recently had my cancerversary and found it really difficult possibly because I had a letter which means possibly more spine surgery which is a risky undertaking, but otherwise I just let it pass with it much acknowledgement.   

Whether you celebrate it, acknowledge it with a. Duvet fort  or simply ignore it, keep doing what's best for you. 

200th blanket

This last week we sent out our 200th blanket.  May 2014 seems such a long time ago but it's not really.  The 200 milestone has me filled with mixed emotions happy that my project has been so successful but also sad that so many blankets are needed, yet we've only touched a small part of those diagnosed with cancer. 

My dream for the next 18 months is that we reach more people with cancer and that Sent with Love continues to grow with more square and blanket donations, with our fantastic volunteers who sew them together. 

The biggest thanks must go out to Shelley, Sues and Ricky who really keep everything rolling making my idea such a success. 

Friday, 15 January 2016

Cancer, what can you do?

To receive a cancer diagnosis is terribly hard, but the effect ripples out to family and friends, what to do, what to say or not say it's a minefield, but to the person with that diagnosis it can be even harder as their needs change, asking for help can be very hard, and being home longer can mean getting cold because they can't afford the heating to be on, not having the energy to cook good wholesome meals, Cancer can be a huge drain not just physically but mentally too and the effects last long after a person has been declared cancer free. 

This week has seen a number of high profile loses to cancer, but we must not forget those who were someone's child, sister, brother, mother or father. Over 1000 people will have lost their life this week because of cancer and so we must take this as a reminder to check ourselves to get anything abnormal checked out and make it a monthly thing too. 

Always remember we are here to provide a blanket to any adult in the UK who has been diagnosed with cancer. You just need to let us know who they are, give us an address, and let us know their diagnosis (for statistical purposes) we will soon be sending out our 200th blanket and while this is a huge achievement for what was a very small dream, it's a harsh and stark reality about cancer and we are only touching a tiny fraction of those diagnosed.while we can't cure cancer we can and will send a package of pure handcrafted love out to nominees to hopefully make life a little bit more comfortable to them. 

With love, 

Sarah and the team, Shelley, Sues, Ricky and Anna

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Welcome to 2016, From Sent With Love!

Happy New Year everyone!

Now we're back from our break,  I thought it would be a good opportunity to give people an idea of what Sent With Love achieved in 2015, and what we aim to achieve this year.

When we closed for Christmas, we had just despatched our 186th blanket. 186 people have been nominated to receive a handmade blanket, made with love, during a terribly tough time. Not only does that make us extremely proud of Sarah's vision and project, but it also shows us just how much support we have been receiving, in the form of square/blanket donations, and from the people who have volunteered to sew squares together, or made donations for postage. It was a wonderfully successful year, and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who played a part in it.

This year, our aim is to raise the profile of Sent With Love as much as possible. Last year, due to the #LegUp campaign started by Adam, Josh and Alex on The Last Leg, we received a huge amount of support via Twitter and Facebook groups. It was a wonderful springboard for the project, with so many new people liking our page, sharing our page, and telling their friends about us. The Last Leg then gave us national coverage on the Stand Up To Cancer telethon, which was absolutely phenomenal. I genuinely can't express the pride I felt for Sarah, knowing her idea was being shown on a charity broadcast all over the country - it was a very emotional moment for all of us.

Whilst that was an absolutely HUGE step for us, this year, we want to go bigger. We want to get Sent With Love right out there to the masses. Many of you may have seen the latest Cancer Research UK advert which states that around 928 people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer every day. That is a huge amount of people, and so many of those people will have friends and relatives who feel helpless. What better way to show their love than by nominating them for a blanket, made with love, by people all over the UK and abroad?

As a team, we can only take publicising Sent With Love so far. We really need your help. Word of mouth, Facebook invites, shares and retweets are all critical tools in letting people know we are here, but we want to think outside the box. So we are turning to you. Please feel free to message us, or comment on Facebook or the blog, with any ideas you can think of that will help us to spread the word. There are currently 4 of us, plus a whopping 1588 of you who like us on Facebook. That is a massive amount of brainpower, and I know that you will all have some wonderful ideas that will help us to cast our net wider, and get the project as much recognition as possible. The only thing we cannot arrange are raffles or any other gambling- as we are a project and not a registered charity, this is illegal and could cause us a whole load of problems.

2016 will open so many opportunities for Sent With Love to grow, and to get the recognition from people that it deserves. We are all very much looking forward to our future, and with you all behind us, I am sure that we can make Sarah's vision absolutely huge.

With Love and Best Wishes,
Shelley @ Sent With Love xxx

Friday, 18 September 2015

Who's who; Susan

Susan is the lovely lady who sends out all our blankets with some help of her very kind husband Ricky.
I met Susan through Shelley, because we both had sarcomas, although different types of this rare cancer. I'll let Susan tell you about herself. 

"In May 2005 I was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma. Its a rare form of cancer that was in my fibula bone. I was pregnant when my husband noticed the lump, we went to the local walk in centre and was told it was nothing to worry about and sent home. 5 months later the lump had grown and we went back. We were told again it was nothing to worry about but i had high blood pressure so i needed to go to the hospital incase i had pre eclampsia, which i did have which was lucky because this is when the first person paid attention to the lump. I was induced early so they could take a biopsy of the lump. When my son was 2 weeks old i started my chemotherapy. Because its a rare form of cancer I had to have all my chemotherapy and radiotherapy in central London. I would stay in for 4 days having 4 different types of chemotherapy. The first day my husband had to leave me in hospital and took our son home was the hardest thing I've ever done. I lost my hair, I had my stem cells harvested, I had bone marrow taken from my back and had a pic line inserted. After 6 cycles of chemotherapy I had surgery to remove my fibula bone, nothing was put in its place. A tendon had to be severed to get the bone out leaving me with drop foot. I then found out the chemotherapy hadn't killed my tumor but i was very lucky my surgeon managed to get it all out, I then had 8 more cycles of chemotherapy to make sure nothing was left behind. I had 14 cycles of chemotherapy and was neutrapeanic 13 times, this means my blood count was 0 and i had no immune system and would need to stay in a clean room in hospital where all doctors, nurses and guests needed to wear aprons, masks and gloves when in the room so they didn't pass any germs on to me which could be fatal. Since i finished my treatment i have been going back to London for regular scan to see if the cancer has returned, so far I've been very fortunate to not have it return. Because its a rare form of cancer I've had to have scans for 10 years from when my treatment was finished April 2006. As long as everything goes well i will be having my last appointment April 2016. I've been left with some mobility problems, chronic pain and long term side effects from the chemotherapy which has prevented me returning to work as a florist but i really enjoy being part of the sent with love team. Susan ❤"

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Who is who

Over the next few days we shall give you an overview of who is who within Sent with Love, the team consists of Sarah (that's me), Shelley, and Sues.

Today we shall starting with myself, Sarah. 

It was December 2012 when I was diagnosed with a sarcoma, a rare form of cancer found in my nerves. It came as a complete shock to myself and my family, I never thought my pain would be down to anything so serious and was rather naive even when having scans looking for malignancies. 

Mere weeks later I had surgery to remove two tumours and started a long period of rehabilitation. I lost most of the use of my left hand due to one tumour but I was determined to learn to crochet. A hard enough challenge with two working hands never mind just one! 

I soon received my blanket from my internet friends, two of whom you will be hearing about later, and just felt so much love from that parcel, it really was the nicest feeling ever, that something so beautiful came from something so awful,but it inspired me. I wanted to share the feeling that I had received with blanket zero. That others could feel the love and care I felt from receiving something crafted by others I'd never met, that there is good in the world, and that people can genuinely care for someone they have never met. 

In April 2014 I had surgery called an opponensplasty, to enable me to pinch grip things. It's safe to say it worked because about 6 months later I managed to crochet a square, more recently I've made blankets for a new nephew, (who is gorgeous) and a friends little girl who has born two days later. My first fully complete projects of which I'm very proud. 

I'm often asked if my blanket reminds me of cancer, I can honestly say no, just a time where I found who my true friends were, and the overwhelming love and care that can be shown by people, even those you don't know. 

Cancer may have been the worst thing to affect my life but it's taught me much more. I am more than my previous job title (teacher for what it's worth). I'm caring, strong minded and I want to change the world, one blanket at a time.  

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

How to help us

We love to get offers of help with creating our blankets, without it we would not be able to keep up with the demand for them, so here is a few ways you can help.

1, knit or crochet squares for us. Use the following as guidelines:

* use any yarn of colour you like as long as it can be machine washed
* feel free to add any pattern or design you like 
* make it in a square of 20cm x 20cm or sew 4 smaller squares together 
* leave the yarn tail on the ends to allow us ease of stitching them together

2, create a full sized blanket. We use 20 of the squares to make a blanket, but feel free to make it any size you like to snuggle under. 

3, offer help to stitch squares together; we currently have 140 squares to stitch together, and 20 people on our waiting to receive list, to get these sewn together quickly means our list is smaller and no one is waiting too long.  

4, make a donation to our postage costs, it costs us £5 to send a blanket if you can help in this way we have a PayPal address at

5, make a donation of yarn, perhaps you have more than you know what to do with, or just want to help us keep our regular crafters stocked up with yarn to help them keep creating, we can give you our wish list for certain websites and an address to send to, we promise it will all be well used and we would be extremely greatful for this help. 

6, share, share,share.  Word of mouth is brilliant for us, so please share our blog, facebook page and Twitter to help us get word about sent with love out. 

If you can help in anyway please send us a message on Facebook,or via email