89-year-old knits more than 1,000 hats for cancer patients

Every day Vera Sachleben knits a hat for a cancer patient at the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center at CHI Memorial. Last year, she donated 250! (Image: WTVC)

She's about to turn 90, but a woman from Hixson isn't slowing down.

In fact, every day she's knitting a hat for a cancer patient at the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center at CHI Memorial.

Last year, she donated 250!

In this week's Pay It Forward, Newschannel 9's Jessica Harthorn surprises her at home.

Vera Sachleben says she's been knitting hats since 1998.

Her son Dave was battling Colon Cancer and she wanted something to do, as she visited him in the hospital.

20 years later, she's donated more hats than she can count.

In a special section of the waiting room at the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center at CHI Memorial you'll find the colorful hats.

Each one, crafted with care is free to all patients.

And one of the women who knits them has an entire closet dedicated to the hobby in Hixson.

"It's just amazing that she spends the amount of money and time that she does. Just to give back to the community," said Frankie Parrott at Morning Pointe Assisted Living.

Frankie tells us Vera Sachleben always has knitting needles in her hands.

She proved her point as we surprised her in her room, a knit hat was sitting in her lap.

"On behalf of Newschannel 9 and the McMahan Law Firm, we would like to Pay It Forward to you, for all the work you do for the cancer patients here in Chattanooga. So we would like to give you $500," surprised Frankie.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you," hugged Vera.

Vera says in the last three years she's donated 750 hats to CHI Memorial. As for 2018?

"Well my goal for this year is 365," said Vera.

Vera buys all the yarn and keeps her special closet stocked with a variety of colors.

She also showed us a picture of her son David, an Army Veteran, who lost his fight with cancer but continues to inspire her every day.

"Dave was Dave, and there was no other Dave," remembered Vera.

Vera says knitting hats has become a way of life.

"It gives me satisfaction knowing that somebody is going to be helped," said Vera.

Every corner of her room is consumed by her hobby of helping others.

Do you know someone who deserves $500 cash for helping others in need? Nominate them here.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off