Arizona’s Heart & Sol: Woman’s handcrafted kindness benefits sick children

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 8:28 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Every Thursday, KOLD News 13 and Casino Del Sol partner to highlight a person or organization that’s going above and beyond in the community.

This week, we meet a Tucsonan who has turned a crochet hook into a tool to help kids and families.

Joanne DiStefano was inspired to do something for other children when her own son became sick two years ago. Her oldest son was diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis, leaving him a paraplegic.

“So I couldn’t help him. I couldn’t make him better,” she said. “I know the heartache I have for my own son. And I imagine the heartache that the parents or the caregivers must have for their babies.”

Then the idea came to her: She would crochet an Afghan, put it up for bids and then donate the proceeds to St. Jude Cancer Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

“They’re only children. They should be playing,” she said of the patients at St. Jude.

And if this project is successful, she said, she’ll do it again.

On behalf of Casino Del Sol, Di Stefano was given a $300 gift card.

To place a bid for that afghan king size blanket or to donate, email your name and phone number to All proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

If you know someone who exemplifies Arizona’s Heart and Sol, you can nominate them on our website.