Twenty-five years ago, Lynn Olive received some of the most terrifying news any person can receive, the diagnosis of a brain tumor. There were MRI scans revealing a tumor. There was a doctor confessing that, from the scans, she didn’t have much time. And, there was Lynn, taking all of this in and saying, I know that God will take care of me.
And, He did. Lynn was miraculously healed. In her own words, that says it all.
When they performed a biopsy, the tumor wasn’t there. The doctors ran another MRI, and again they saw the spot on the imaging. From specialist to specialist, MRI to MRI, Lynn continued on, and doctors marveled that the tumor appeared on scans, but could not be found in surgery.
Lynn’s diagnosis was over 25 years ago. Today, she is healthy and full of faith.
That could be Lynn’s story in its entirety, and it would be an incredible testimony of God’s faithfulness, but, of course, it gets better.
In order to perform the biopsy, Lynn’s doctors had to shave half of her head.
It was devastating. From this experience, she realized how much hair means to women. Years later, she began to make hats for herself during the winter to sell at craft shows. Her friend became ill with cancer, and lost her hair as a result. So, Lynn made her some hats. Her friend responded wonderfully. It gave her comfort and confidence back that cancer had stolen. The hats looked like hair, and they felt like her hair, and she loved that about them.
Lynn decided to call them Hairy Hats.
Lynn was inspired by her friend’s reaction to Hairy Hats, and so she went to the several oncologists in her small town and began to give the hats away. She remembered how difficult it was to look for hairpieces and wigs.
What a terrible thing, to go through chemotherapy, cancer, and then the emotional trauma of losing your hair. Lynn wanted to do anything she could to help ease the pain of the process, and the responses from those receiving hats were positive and emotional.
Every week Lynn would visit oncologist’s offices in her town to supply the growing demand for more cards and more hats. A woman named Pat, who was going through chemotherapy, received a hat and called Lynn to thank her and ask for more hats to give away. Pat became the top advertiser for Hairy Hats. Her calls for hats continued and became more frequent. If Pat thought someone looked like they were going through chemotherapy she approached them, whether in the oncologist’s office or the grocery store.
After seven months of crafting the hats, Lynn realized that she needed to actively sell the Hairy Hats. So, she started the business “Hairy Hats for Cancer” to help her buy the yarn for hats that would be given away to patients. She set up a web page, did news shows and newspaper spotlights, and she set out with the goal to “cover every head”.
As the influence of Hairy Hats has grown, she has heard incredible stories from people who wear the hats because they have lost their hair, or in support of a loved one who has. She has made Hairy Hats for a baby (and her doll), an older woman whose hair was down past her waist, and even Mohawk and Camouflage hats for boys and men who want them. Technically retired, Lynn spends most of her time working on crafting the special hats. Each one takes an hour to make, and Lynn dreams that someday others with a passion for knitting will come alongside her mission. She even has online tutorials available for people who would like to make their own.
Last year, Lynn’s goal was to make 1,000 and by Christmas she had reached 1,100. This year, her number climbs higher.
Lynn’s story is one that, not only displays how God heals, but also how He can turn the pain of our own experiences into the answer to our neighbor’s prayer.
Photo Credit: 535 Photo
To visit Lynn’s website, click here.
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