Lara was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 at the age of 30, 7 months pregnant with her second son. A woman Lara had never met, but with whom she shared a mutual friend sent her a package. Inside were beautiful scarves she wore during cancer treatment and a note saying, “You can do this.” The scarves were both practical and inspiring, and knowing someone else had worn the scarves and faced cancer helped Lara believe she could do it, too. Not long after she finished treatment, Lara went to a Young Survival Coalition Conference. She packed several scarves in hopes that she could pass them along to another woman, as had so graciously been done for her. There, Lara met Roberta and they laughed together as she showed her different ways to wear a scarf. Upon the completion of her treatment, Roberta sent the scarves back to Lara. She had since moved, and one of the first friends she met, Brooke, was starting treatment. Lara brought a scarf to Brooke’s house and they laughed through their tears about what it is like to lose your hair. This whole time Lara couldn’t stop thinking about the amazing journey these scarves were on.
So, Lara created Hope Scarves in 2012 as a way to capture these beautiful stories and encourage others. The program started in her spare bedroom with her toddler volunteer by her side, sending out 2-3 Hope Scarves a week. Today Hope Scarves is a bustling office of volunteers and staff, sending over 75 scarves a week all around the world. Hope Scarves has sent over 17,000 scarves to every state and 26 countries, to people facing over 90 different types of cancer. The oldest recipient is 97 and the youngest, 6 months. The Hope Scarf Collection, which changes constantly, contains over 23,000 scarves and over 1,700 stories.
After almost 7 years in remission, Lara faces cancer again. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer in January 2014. Lara started Hope Scarves to spread hope, which she holds onto now more than ever.
To share her story and create deeper connection through adversity Lara started My Hopeful Life as an extension of Hope Scarves. She explains, “Hope Scarves is my hands. My Hopeful Life is my heart.” Visit My Hopeful Life to read Lara’s blog, watch the film, listen to her podcast, invite Lara to be a speaker and more.
Embrace each day!
The Hope Scarves Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Fund was established in Lara’s honor in 2015. Hope Scarves designates a portion of each dollar for metastatic breast cancer research. Donors can give directly to this fund if they wish.
Hope Scarves Founder, Lara MacGregor launched My Hopeful Life as an extension of Hope Scarves in 2020. This initiative, rooted in her personal story, started with her widely followed blog, My Hopeful Life. And now includes a film, podcast, speaking engagements and one day, a book. Living with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer has given Lara a unique perspective on facing uncertainty, grounding oneself in gratitude and embracing each day. Her vision & dedication to Hope Scarves is a powerful force for good in the world. Follow along with My Hopeful Life as she expands the way we cultivate hope.