Face of Hope, October 2013 – Sarah (Louisville, KY)

1. How did you become connected with Hope Scarves?

A friend invited me to their wonderful fundraiser last fall. I took along several scarves with my stories attached.

2. How did it feel to share your story and encouragement to others when you donated your scarves?

It felt great! One thing I was determined to take away from my experience with cancer was my ability to help those who are starting the journey. I was so proud of myself that I made it through and I wanted to pass that confidence on to others. Donating my scarves to Hope Scarves was a perfect outlet through which to do that. 

3. What are the things that provided hope and strength to you throughout your battle?

I found humor to be empowering to me throughout my experience with breast cancer. It gave me control over the situation and helped me handle it with my children, Camille and Campbell. I remember one day in the car I was hot and took my scarf off. At first they were a little embarrassed. I told them to keep track of the number of people who were staring at me. By the end of the trip my son was saying, “Oh, oh, mom, that guy is looking at you. That makes ten!” We were all laughing about it. Also, fortunately for me, I had several friends who were going through it at the same time. I could see from some what I had ahead of me and help those who were behind me in their treatments.

4. Where are you currently in your life after cancer?  Tell us about your hobbies, interests, family and what is going on these days.

I feel great these days. I just passed the two year mark for the end of my chemo and radiation. Both of my children play soccer for Kentucky Fire Juniors teams. We go to A LOT of soccer games but I love it. I work as a dental hygienist and enjoy meeting new people every day. I use my position as a health care provider to spread awareness of breast cancer and regular screenings.

5. What do you wish other people knew about Hope Scarves?

I can’t think of a more thoughtful gesture than to send a Hope Scarf to someone who is experiencing hair loss due to cancer treatments. It represents so much more than just a scarf.

6. What would you tell someone who is thinking about sending a Hope Scarf to a friend battling cancer?

I would tell them to definitely do it. The recipient will be so happy to know that they are connecting with someone who has walked in their shoes.

7. What is something that you would like to do that you haven’t done yet? (ie. Bucket List)

I’ve always wanted to travel across the country in an RV.

8. What is your favorite inspirational quote or words to live by?

One of my favorite singers, Michael Franti:
“…no matter how life is today. There’s just one thing that I got to say. I won’t let another moment slip away.”

9. If your friends or family had to describe you in two words, what would those be?

Strong, empathetic

10. Please share something you learned having gone through cancer.

One thing I try to remember after cancer is that you never know what someone is going through so try to be kind to everyone. As a breast cancer patient I had a scarf that alerted people to what I was experiencing. Not everyone has a scarf to tell you they are having a rough time. Next time someone is short with you, try to remember that and be kind.

Face of Hope, September 2013 – Jody (Ottumwa, IA)

1. How did you become connected with Hope Scarves?

I was connected through Hope for Two, Lara was my mentor. I was diagnosed when I was 34 Weeks Pregnant with my second son. Which was similar to Lara’s situation as well.

2. How did receiving the scarf and story impact your healing journey?

The story made me feel more confident with starting a new chapter in my life. The scarf was part of a way to make me feel more comfortable with my new image.

3. What are the things that provided hope and strength to you throughout your battle?

Having my two sons (Grant and Micah), my husband (Russ), Lots of family and Lots of friends here to remind me that I have a lot to keep on going with my daily life. Reading stories of other mom’s that have experienced getting diagnosed with breast cancer while being pregnant. Then delivery a healthy baby and caring for him while getting chemo treatment and soon double mastectomy. Knowing that it is possible to balance being a mom of two and wife during all of this.

4. Where are you currently in your life after cancer?  Tell us about your hobbies, interests, family and what is going on these days.

I currently have one more chemo treatment (which is August 28, 2013) and then at the end of September I will be getting a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. I am a stay at home mom so I spend lots of time with my two sons. We have a lot of family time at home, since I have to be careful with all the germs right now. Occasionally we go boating or to a friends house to have a play date with the other stay at home moms. We like to have family/friends over to cook great meals and entertain. We have family and friends stop over with lots of support.

5. What do you wish other people knew about Hope Scarves?

That by receiving a scarf means so much. It gives you more confidence about your image and lets you know that you are not alone in this journey.

6. What would you tell someone who is thinking about sending a Hope Scarf to a friend battling cancer?

Make sure and take the time to send one to that special person. It is so uplifting to know that someone is taking the time to do something for you. So please send one!

7. What is something that you would like to do that you haven’t done yet? (ie. Bucket List)

Go on many more vacations with my family.  Would love to go on an Alaskan cruise with my husband.

8. What is your favorite inspirational quote or words to live by?

Remember to:
Kiss your babies often
Tell the ones you love that you love them
Be thankful for the support from family and friends
Know the life is too short for nonsense
Be honest
And pray often…

9. If your friends or family had to describe you in two words, what would those be?

Courageous and Focused

10. Please share something you learned having gone through cancer.

Take it day by day. Be positive and always remember to be thankful for all the support you received. For me that was a big relief knowing that so many people care even if they were not actually here to help out physically, but thinking of me and my family.

Hope Scarves Ignite Challenge

Fifty-two of Louisville’s young leaders agreed to spend one full day a month, for six months, focusing on leadership development. A portion of our nights and weekends were dedicated to consulting for a local nonprofit together with a small team of our peers. When this impressive group convened for the first time in October, the room was filled with enthusiasm, anticipation and some skepticism. Months later, it’s safe to say we are all transformed, inspired and grateful.

The Voice Tribune | by Abby Shue, Special Contributor | 08/08/2013 | Read the Full Story