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The one hundred honoree: Lara MacGregor

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Lara MacGregor

Mass General Giving

When Lara MacGregor, 30 years old and seven months pregnant, began chemotherapy for breast cancer, a friend of a friend and cancer survivor mailed her an unexpected gift—a box of beautiful scarves—with a note that read, “You can do this.”

Cancer-free at the end of her chemotherapy, Lara attempted to return the scarves, but her friend said she did not need them anymore. So, Lara passed them on to another young mom beginning treatment. Out of this sharing came Hope Scarves.

Founded in 2012 and located in Louisville, Kentucky, Hope Scarves captures the stories of cancer survivors and their headscarves and passes them on, along with scarf-tying instructions, to women facing cancer. Hope Scarves has distributed more than 4,000 scarves to women ages 5 to 93 in all 50 states and 12 countries

In 2014 Lara’s cancer returned as stage IV. After undergoing treatment, Lara expanded Hope Scarves’ mission to include fundraising for metastatic breast cancer research. In December 2015, Hope Scarves made its first gift to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, Kentucky for promising translational research in this area.

“Receiving a Hope Scarf was practical and incredibly inspiring,” says nominator Esther Conrad, who received a Hope Scarf as a gift during breast cancer treatment. “Lara has turned a tragic experience into something beautiful to help and inspire others.”