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Fairfield Cyclist Gets Crafty To Combat Cancer

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Alexandra Currie of Fairfield is already pumped for the Connecticut Challenge bike ride to benefit cancer survivorship programs on July 28 in Westport.

Two years ago, while living in London with her family, Currie was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it rocked her world. But not for long.

While she was undergoing chemotherapy, her oncologist told her she would be facing London's coldest winter in more than 100 years. He suggested she spend most of her time inside. To keep her mind off of her cancer, she knitted herself a “cancer” hat and topped it off with a large pink pom-pom. Currie had taken to knitting shortly after arriving in London through Stitch & Bitch, a knitting group for beginners.

Excited to finish the hat in a short amount of time and realizing its significance, she began knitting scarves and hats for other breast cancer survivors. This led to her founding The Pink Pom-Pom Project, a crafting for cancer therapy initiative. With the help of several groups in London she coordinated volunteers to help make more than 500 hats, scarves, quilts and pillows for breast cancer survivors.

“The Pink Pom Pom Project got me out of bed in the morning. We were helping cancer victims going through tough times,” Currie said.

In December 2011, Currie left London, cancer free, and moved to Fairfield with her family. She became acquainted with Jeff Keith, founder of the Connecticut Challenge, and she and her husband quickly became supporters and made a significant contribution.

They have put together a Pink Pom Pom Project team to ride in this year’s event. She currently has 10 members and will participate in the 10-mile ride with her children, while her husband rides the 75-mile distance.

“The Challenge represents a lending hand for me,” says Currie. “It helps you to understand that you can have a good life as a survivor with hope and happiness.  After being diagnosed I recognized the importance of talking about how to deal and cope with cancer.”

Currie started A Little Square , a online children’s clothing business, in 2005 and will open her first shop in September in Fairfield. Twenty-five percent of all sales from the boutique will directly support the Pink Pom-Pom Project crafting initiatives by providing materials, tools and teachers to its events and classes. The Pink Pom Pom Project helps local cancer victims and also reaches out to the community by offering additional classes throughout Connecticut. Currie is working with the Connecticut Challenge to hold craft therapy "Stich and Bitch” sessions in the new CTC survivorship center when it opens in Southport in the fall.

Shortly after her diagnosis, Currie started a blog about what it’s like living with cancer and has recorded more than 300 posts. One of her next entries will most certainly about her Challenge ride later this month.

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