Friday, June 18, 2010

The Birth of Hats For Happiness

I have been asked a few times now how it is that Hats For Happiness got to come into being. Here is the story.

When I went through my first round of Chemotherapy and my hair began to fall out, being a college student I was looking for a way to cover my head. I was often wearing a black hoodie to cover up my having bald spots (I tried to keep my hair as long as I could). I went over the options that were available. I could wear wigs, but they are expensive with a very nice wig running in the hundreds. They are also hot and I love in Florida and was concerned about that. I thought about bandannas, and while they are not expensive, nor hot, I felt that sometimes I would want to not have anyone know I was even bald. and with the bandanna, isn't much you can hide.

In discussing this dilemma with my family and friends, I would over and over hear "I have some hats I could give you" and they would produce 4 or 5 hats at a time that they had. Hats they owned and most of the time never even wore. hats they got at conventions, promotions, as gifts, as souvenirs.

I started collecting these hats, and I would put them on one by one and if it was a silly hat it would make me laugh, if it was a baseball cap it would make me think of the logo or saying that was on it.

It got me to thinking, if the people I know all have a few hats they have never worn, maybe a LOT of other people also have hats they are not wearing.

I found that people that owned companies were more then willing to give me a hat or two with their company logos. I came up with an idea, what if a person when they were doing chemo could pick out a hat right there in the doctors office. What if there was a hat rack, with numerous hats, wigs, bandannas that patients could choose from to take with them. They could take a silly hat, a hat that they would never wear in public, but when they needed a lift from fighting the good fight, they could put that hat on and think of how it is a special hat and maybe it will make them smile for the only time that day.

One of the things that was very upsetting to me was having my picture taken. I was very self conscious about this. I found that when I was wearing a hat, the picture wasn't as jarring as my having no hair. I was able to smile in photos, and often smiled because I was wearing a hat.

This is the story of the birth of Hats For Happiness.

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