Face of Hope, June 2013 – Jana (Floyds Knobs, IN)

1. How did you become connected with Hope Scarves?

I met Hope Scarves founder, Lara MacGregor, through the Norton’s Young Survivors Support group.

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

On countless occasions, I have been overwhelmed in a positive way by the thoughtful generosity and love of my friends and family. I have been lucky to receive countless care packages, phone calls, and cards. I never realized how much cards and a thoughtful message can mean to someone until I had this experience. I also live in the supportive Louisville, Kentucky community so I have access to support groups, educational seminars, and fun activities for those living with cancer. This experience has also made me realize that some people do not have the support network that I enjoy. It has been such a tough road that I want to help and support others who need it. I try to do things for others that have helped me along the way.

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

I have been in treatment for over 2 years and unfortunately, I continue to be in active treatment. I continue my work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I love to travel and when I have finished a major treatment segment, I reward myself with a cruise. My most recent trips were to Bermuda and Hawaii. I like to do yoga and paint. I am also working with a group of survivors to form a local Dragon Boat Racing team called Derby City Dragons. This has been a wonderful experience combing exercising and connecting to other survivors.

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

Hope Scarves provides a unique way to give back and connect with others through the story of the scarf.

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

Hope Scarves is a way to show someone you are thinking about them and that you care. It’s a way to try and provide hope and strength at a time when it is most needed.

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

I would like to go to Australia and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef. I would also like to travel to Anchorage, Alaska and Denali National Park.

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

2 come to mind:
“Carpe Diem”…Seize the Day
And…
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

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

Amazing , Genuine

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

I have been through SO much…I never realized the depth of my strength. This experience has also made me a more compassionate person because I better understand other’s challenges and hurts. Now, I never pass up an opportunity to have fun. I try to make the most of everyday and appreciate the beauty in each moment.

Face of Hope, May 2013 – Amy (Goshen, KY)

How did you become connected with Hope Scarves?

I met Lara at a Young Survivors support group in Louisville. She told me about her organization and sent me a scarf a week later. My scarf was worn by Lara and two other women during their treatment. I instantly felt a connection with Lara and Hope Scarves and tell people about it every chance I get. I can’t say enough about this amazing organization.

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

I was honored to receive one of Lara’s scarves and I loved reading the stories from all three women who wore it before me. It provided an extra “boost” of support that my other scarves did not. Their stories helped remind me that I can beat this.

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

My two young boys, my husband and my family and friends. They have believed in my strength and grace from the beginning and that belief keeps me going, even in my toughest moments. I need to beat this for them. Also my strong connections with the Survivors I’ve met along this journey. Hearing everyone’s unique yet similar stories helps
remind me that I am going to be ok. Finally, my faith in God to heal me and help me find the strength and courage I need to keep moving forward step by step.

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

I am still on my journey. I start radiation and a new chemo drug next week. By the end of this year I hope to be finished with chemo and have my final surgery. I’m looking forward to getting to the next chapter…and having a big celebration!

What do you wish other people knew about Hope Scarves?

I love to spread the word about Lara’s mission and how much of an impact the scarves make for the women who receive them. Losing our hair is one of the most difficult steps of the cancer journey for women, but having a pretty scarf to wear helps with the transition. I had a wig but rarely wore it. I discovered I was much more comfortable
wearing a scarf.

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

Please do! It will make ALL the difference to that person, and will continue to help women for years to come.

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

I’ve been big on the “bucket list” lately! My top two right now are an African Safari and a tour of Italy. I just did one of them – attend a NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four game!

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

Right now my favorite saying is “Strength is the only option”. I also love Joshua 1:9, “Be Strong and Courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. My husband had that painted on my bedroom wall so I read it constantly during chemo.

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

Compassionate, Determined

Please share something you learned having gone through cancer.

The importance of truly living life to the fullest and finding joy. Try to enjoy each day
and don’t sweat the small things.

Roberta – Pittsburgh, PA

How did you become connected with Hope Scarves?
I met Lara, the founder of Hope Scarves during a conference in Dallas held for young women with breast cancer. I was in the middle of treatment and wearing my wig. I met Lara on our lunch break and she shared her journey with me. She showed me how to tie my scarf and shared her thoughts on starting Hope Scarves. I don’t believe I wore my wig again after that. Lara gave me that strength!

How did receiving the scarf and story impact your healing journey? Any advice for those currently fighting cancer?
Wearing my scarf was my badge of honor, it tells my story. While your physicians and medical team can give you excellent care, you need to be your own advocate, do your own research and make decisions that are the best for you. Don’t take life for granted, it can change in an instant.

Where are you currently in your life?
My miracle twin baby girls were born in December, 4 years post diagnosis.

What do you wish other people knew about Hope Scarves?
Hearing other women’s stories can bring so much encouragement. Receiving that scarf that was worn by someone else reminds you that you are not alone; someone has walked the journey before you.

What is your favorite inspirational quote or words to live by?
A friend of mine just told me this quote the night before my last scan and I love it: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorry, it empties today of its strength.”

Two new reasons to be hopeful!

Hope Scarves sends a big congrats to Roberta and her family! Roberta was the very first person to receive a scarf from Lara in 2009 while battling breast cancer. This friendship set in motion the idea that would become Hope Scarves. Today Roberta has two new reasons to be hopeful! So do we all!