Thursday, January 31, 2013

Scarves for Sara

Editor's Note: The SNC QN would like to congratulate Angie Woollard. Today she completed the 71st and final scarf in an 8 month project that raised money to help out her friend and fellow Chaser, Sara Nemtuda, with some unexpected medical expenses. Way to go, Angie! You are amazing!

SNC QN Staff Writer Jennifer Lyon tells the story.

Graphic by Jana Barnes
Individual photos used with permission.

As a school teacher, Sara Nemtuda is used to dealing with the occasional cold. In December 2011 she began to fight what seemed to be the same cold as many of her co-workers, however, Sara was still fighting the same cough in March. During that time she made several trips to the doctor’s office. After each visit she would begin to feel better but could not completely rid herself of the cough. Sara decided to make one more trip to the urgent care center before going on vacation. After a series of testing, that visit to the doctor changed Sara’s life - she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Sara received an outpouring of support from the Chaser community when she posted on Facebook about her diagnosis and upcoming chemotherapy treatments. After seeing the post, Angie Woollard decided she wanted to do more than just give a few words of encouragement to her friend. She came up with the idea for Scarves for Sara and sent messages out to friends to see if anyone would be interested in donating money in exchange for one of her hand-knit scarves. “I just figured, I'm always knitting anyway and end up with a pile of stuff just because I like making it!” Angie said. “So this way, I get to do what I love, Sara's financial burden is eased a wee bit, and my friends get a pretty accessory out of the deal.” There was such a positive response to the idea that a Facebook group was created. Angie was astounded by the reaction. “I could NOT believe how it took off. I have never met or been part of a kinder, more generous community.”

The Scarves for Sara project was kept a secret from Sara for several weeks. Angie finally told Sara about what she was doing when she sent Sara the first installment of the donations. Sara was shocked to find out what her friend had been doing. She never expected anything like this from the Chaser community. “I was blown away by so many people, most of whom I haven't been able to meet yet, wanting to help,” Sara said. “It has been unbelievable.” Thankfully, Sara’s health insurance is helping to the cover the cost of her medical bills. The money raised through Scarves for Sara gave Sara one less thing to stress over as she focused on getting better. In late July Sara had a PET scan to see where the cancer was located in her body and how well the chemotherapy treatments worked. The results from the testing were very positive, with a 90% improvement compared to the scan in April. From what Sara’s doctor could tell from the scan, all the cancer cells in the lymph nodes are gone. Her last chemotherapy session was in early October and she celebrated on the SNC cruise, Chasers at Sea. Sara posted to her blog during the treatment process at

I asked Sara if there was anything she would like to say to the Chaser community. “Wow. I am so thankful to have so much support and love sent my way. I have gotten cards, care packages, Facebook messages, prayers, and then the donations as well. It has all been overwhelming. I truly am blessed to be involved with such a caring group of people. I really have a hard time putting into words just how appreciative I am of all of this. Just want to say a huge thank you to all of them for everything and I hope to be able to meet them all soon.”

Wishing you all the very best, Sara!

When Angie first started this project she had a goal of raising a couple hundred dollars, but the Scarves for Sara project final total was $3,135! (Angie is no longer taking any new orders.)

Here are just a few photos of Angie's beautiful works of art! Each one was sent along with a tiny Canadian flag pin as a crowning touch.

*All scarf photos courtesy of Angie Woollard.


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