It wasn't until she saw some information about volunteers who knitted scarves and then donated them to cancer survivors that she got to thinking. Why not do that locally in the Inland Valley?
"I wasn't against helping people in other parts of the country, but I thought why couldn't we do something here. I can knit. I love parties. I talked to some lady friends who knit and we got started," Daly said.
She even came up with the idea of having a party to raise money and awareness. She was in the middle of preparing for the first Power of Pink Party when she got the news -- she was diagnosed with breast cancer herself. Ironically, it was Daly who kept stressing to the close circle of women that early detection saved lives. She encouraged everyone to get mammograms.
"Then four days before my 50th birthday I got the call. I told family members and a few close friends and it was hard to put on a brave face. I remember just being there at that first party and telling myself, I can do this. I can face this," she said.
And she has. That was back in 2006. Daly is a strong and healthy survivor now putting the final touches on plans for the 7th annual event. This year it's scheduled for Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. in Pitzer Auditorium at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, 1798 N. Garey Ave., Pomona.
"We're a no-budget kind of organization, but somehow it works. Everything is donated. We are particularly blessed because it always seems to come together," said Daly with a big smile.
That first year, Daly's good friend Joan Bunte, owner of Stamp Your Heart Out in downtown Claremont, decided to host a party for cancer survivors.
They scheduled to have it along a small breezeway next to the shop.
"We thought maybe 20 people might come," Daly said. "Seventy people did."
The crafts people knitted/crocheted 463 scarves that first year and distributed them.
"I was over the moon," Daly said. "It's just gotten better. These scarves are amazing. There's something about them. Do you feel it (gesturing to some gathered on a table)? They have an aura about them. They represent that fact that someone is thinking about you.
The project has attracted a lot of supporters and followers during the years. Many attend the Knit in Pink every year. It's a team effort, Daly said, with people like fellow attorney Cedric Elias and his wife Diane who own Tony's Deli restaurant in Pomona who donate food; employees and friends from the Rancho Cucamonga courthouse who donate handmade items for the auction; Irene Sanchez of Garden of Beaden in Upland who this year is designing special leather bracelets with pink charms; Colors in Claremont and Needles and Niceties in Upland who donate and promote the event in their stores; Brent and Sherry Hunter, owners of Bert and Rocky's Creamery in Claremont, that concoct special pink treats; and countless anonymous people who simply give skeins of yarn so the project continues.
"People just give to this," said Daly, who also is an adjunct professor at the University of La Verne College of Law. "And that helps make it special. The proceeds are used for patients, especially breast health educational information which I found very useful when I was going through it. Education helped me feel like cancer wasn't going to chase me for the rest of my life."
During the years, thousands of scarves in varying shades of pink have been donated to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, San Antonio Community Hospital in Upland, the City of Hope in Duarte and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals in Fontana and Ontario.
"Both of my parents died young in their 60s. My dad was a military man, a quiet man, but together they always tried to help people who needed help. I feel like I'm carrying on their tradition in giving back to the community," she said.
"And this is personal. I've been there. I know how it feels. I remember feeling like I had to reach up to tie my shoes, asking myself how was I going to get through it, but I got through it. People are here ready to help. So many people want to help. I want people to know you have people in your corner and you can do this. If I can let everyone know that, even if it's just one person who gets the message, then that will be enough."
The Knit in Pink is a party of celebration. There is no gloom and doom. All survivors and their families are invited. Wear pink and lots of it.
Refreshments will be served, fun prizes awarded and a silent auction conducted. All proceeds go to the Robert and Beverly Lewis Family Cancer Care Center at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.
The knitting effort continues, however, all year long. All knitted or crocheted scarves are appreciated. If you don't knit or crochet, there are plenty of volunteers who can. Donations of yarn also help with the cause. Finished scarves then are given to local hospitals and some are shipped to cancer patients and survivors throughout the country.
For more information about the Power of Pink Project's Knit in Pink, call 909-621-4363.