BUNNIE SWITZER is shown with her award-winning basket she submitted to the Shiawassee County Fair. Switzer has neurosarcoidosis and uses crochet as a form of therapy. It took her over two months to create the double-strand, basket weave project. The heavier weave gives structure to the basket.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)


by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor

Bunnie Switzer, of Durand, has faced many challenges since being diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis in 2014. Switzer was first confronted with her condition after falling in the parking area after she had left her job at the Durand Chamber of Commerce. The long-term disorder affects the brain, spinal cord, nervous system, and other body parts, and may cause muscle weakness and sensory loss. For the past year, Switzer has resided at Durand Senior Care & Rehab Center on Monroe Road.

Her mother taught her to cook, knit, crochet, and sew when she was young, so those are activities she continued pursuing into her adult life. Switzer was born in Big Rapids, but has now lived in Durand for 30 years, and is very connected to the Durand community. After her diagnosis of neurosarcoidosis, Switzer discovered a book entitled “Crochet Therapy; the Soothing Art of Savoring Each Stitch,” by Betsan Corkhill. She approached her neurologist in Ann Arbor, seeking out medical guidance or information on crocheting as a form of therapy, and her doctor told her that if she felt up to it, she would definitely prescribe it for her.

Switzer took her neurologist’s advice, and started crocheting patterns from the book. The repetitive patterns are oriented toward reconnecting one with crochet materials to create a sense of calm and focus. Switzer has now accomplished several projects, including the large gray and blue basket she submitted to the Shiawassee County Fair. She had never submitted anything to the fair, though her first-time entry earned her a blue ribbon, and she could not have been more shocked or pleased.

Switzer plans on continuing with her crochet therapy and wants to create more of the baskets.

Crochet Therapy Project Earns Blue Ribbon at Fair was last modified: September 5th, 2017 by Karen Elford