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Knitters aiding cancer fund ask for help

PUBLISHED: 15:20 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:59 13 July 2010

Anji Connell with some of the squares being knitted for a cancer charity - a cause close to her heart. Picture: Colin  Finch

Anji Connell with some of the squares being knitted for a cancer charity - a cause close to her heart. Picture: Colin Finch

Richard Batson

Years of sun-worshipping when she was younger has left Anji Connell with skin cancer.

The designer from Cromer used to create fashion knitwear, including jumpers with bacon, eggs and chips on them.

Years of sun-worshipping when she was younger has left Anji Connell with skin cancer.

The designer from Cromer used to create fashion knitwear, including jumpers with bacon, eggs and chips on them.

So when a cancer support charity was looking for people to help knit “comfort blankets” she was happy to help.

Mrs Connell has crafted 10 squares among a local team of knitters who are among thousands of people getting their needles clicking for the cause - and linked to Friday's Macmillan Cancer Support World's Biggest Coffee morning event.

Her own cancer scare came five years ago when her GP spotted a seemingly harmless small lump near her nose - and sent her to hospital where she was given immediate surgery to remove a 1cm carcinoma - and is now waiting to have five more dealt with.

“I used to be a big sunbather - putting on olive oil to get brown. The damage is often done before you are 20,” she said.

When she lived in Hong Kong for 11 years she used to “dash straight from work to the beach with my bikini.” Now she keeps covered up with plenty of sunblock even on dull days.

“Luckily my cancer was not the worst kind, but it shows the need to be careful, and cover up,” she added.

Mrs Connell is now an interior designer, but is using her former fashion and knitting skills, which produced knitwear for leading stores such as Liberty's to help the Macmillan event.

She has been working with friends who are also making squares to be made into blankets - helped by a donation of 40 balls of wool from the John Lewis store in Norwich.

The blankets, being done with the support of The Knitter magazine, will be used to keep cancer patients warm.

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