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Student Initiative Offers Comfort and Kindness to Cancer Patients

Margaret Buck ‘21 started knitting in 5th grade and Abigail Eakle ‘20 took up knitting this year. The pair teamed up to turn their hobby into something meaningful. Margaret and Abigail are daughters of oncologists who work at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) in Lakewood Ranch, and have grown up hearing how difficult it is for people going through cancer treatment.
Margaret Buck ‘21 started knitting in 5th grade and Abigail Eakle ‘20 took up knitting this year. The pair teamed up to turn their hobby into something meaningful. Margaret and Abigail are daughters of oncologists who work at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) in Lakewood Ranch, and have grown up hearing how difficult it is for people going through cancer treatment.

At the beginning of the school year, Margaret and Abby put a plan together—they decided to knit hats to give to chemotherapy patients at FCS, and they named their endeavor Happy Hats. The girls thought that giving a hand-made gift would show the patients that someone was thinking of them during their treatments, which can be an isolating and scary time. They created pattern specifications so the hats they made would be uniform in size and created personalized tags and a knitted heart to attach to each finished product.
 
The girls’ original goal was to make five hats each. Each hand-knitted hat took between seven and ten hours to make, and by January they had 25 handmade creations. Their first donation to the patients at FCS made such a strong impact that they decided to expand their program and get others involved. Margaret and Abigail now have several teachers and classmates making hats with them, and plan to make another donation to FCS in the near future. They have created T-shirts with their Happy Hats logo on it as a thank you to those who have made hats for their program. We are so proud to see these students living the core values of service and excellence in such a philanthropic endeavor. For more information about the Happy Hats program, visit their Instagram page at: @Happy.Hats.SRQ.
 
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