Lara MacGregor was 30 years old and seven months pregnant when she was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. As she faced the unthinkable, she was encouraged by the kindness of a friend, who gave her a box of beautiful head scarves with an uplifting note. Upon finishing treatment, she repaid the favor by sharing the scarves with another woman. The power of this simple gesture led Lara to found Hope Scarves, an organization supporting women facing cancer by exchanging scarves and stories.
Today, Hope Scarves collects scarves and stories from cancer survivors around the world to help spread hope to those undergoing treatment. Since its founding in 2012, the non-profit has grown exponentially and is affectionately known as “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarves.” The organization has provided nearly 20,000 scarves to people in every state across the U.S., and 27 countries. These scarves have supported people facing more than 90 types of cancer and ranging in age from six months to 97 years old.
In 2020, after seven years in remission, Lara’s cancer returned and she was diagnosed with terminal stage IV metastatic breast cancer. In response, she expanded the mission of Hope Scarves to invest in metastatic cancer research, which has to-date raised more than $1 million for the cause. Her tireless work raised much-needed funds, helped people understand advanced breast cancer, and continues to remind people everywhere to live each day to the fullest.
In January 2022, surrounded by family, Lara passed away from metastatic cancer. She was 45.
Community, inspiration, hope - these are what I strive to create through Hope Scarves. To be recognized by L’Oréal Paris for my life’s work at this pivotal time in my story brings me deep joy.