Fran pink afghan 2018

Blood donor, afghan artist, and CBC friend Fran Duell is reminding us all to keep focused on October National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

She’s been focused for months on creating a new awareness afghan and having it ready for Oct. 1.

“I think of my sister a lot. She’s been gone since 2001,” said Fran about the sister she lost to breast cancer. She honors her with the annual tradition of creating a special pink afghan for a donor drawing at the Dayton CBC Donor Center.

It was her sister who first inspired Fran to begin knitting afghan throw blankets to help charitable causes.  “My sister was involved with Daybreak (a shelter for runaway teens),” she said.  “They had a golf tournament coming up and said ‘Why don’t you make an afghan for a prize?’ That was for Daybreak in the summer of ‘95 and I’ve been making afghans for charities ever since.”

This labor of love took on additional meaning for Fran after she lost her husband Joe to lymphoma.  October is when the CBC/CTS team throws its support behind the annual Dayton Light The Night fundraising walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Some 500 afghans later Fran continues to crochet with loving care for CBC and for many Miami Valley charities and special events.

Fran manages to maintain traditional designs – especially the pink for the fight against cancer – but introduces some new wrinkles.  This year’s October Breast Cancer Month afghan starts with dark pinks on one end and fades into white at the other end.

“I always start with my darkest-colored yarn,” she said. “This time I kept using what I had, and when I ran out and change to the next color.  When I ran out of pink I used white.  It’s more white yarn than I’ve used in a while but I like it.”

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