Hats for Courage
Former Queen Annapolisa helping fellow chemo patients through ‘Hats for Courage’
For a former Queen Annapolisa diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, the Hats for Courage campaign is all about empowering and comforting fellow chemotherapy patients.
Tanya Marie Olscamp of Middleton, Queen Annapolisa the 60th, said her life changed forever when she was recently diagnosed in November. Olscamp is receiving chemotherapy treatments at Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville.
She said wearing an Overcomer hat is one way she takes her power back. She feels strong and determined when she wears it and she wants to share this feeling with others facing a similar struggle.
The single parent of two launched the Hats for Courage campaign with the goal of raising $2,000 to purchase hats to give to people receiving chemotherapy at Valley Regional. Former Queen Annapolisa Tanya Marie Olscamp wants to help empower others as she continues on her chemotherapy journey.
“From the very beginning of my journey it was just really important that I wanted to stay positive and try to feel empowered through the process,” Olscamp said. “When you’re dealing with cancer, it can be a very scary thing and a lot of people often feel very powerless in that situation.”
She decided to have a local embroidery shop make her a hat with the word “Overcomer” on it for when she began chemo treatments. After seeing this, a lot of her friends and family members also wanted Overcomer hats. She also had some that say “Team Tanya – Overcomer” produced.
Olscamp said this was around the time she had to decide what to do with her long, thick hair. She had only had one haircut in the past two decades. Olscamp said she found this to be an emotional time and decided to throw a party.
She decided at the party that if wearing an Overcomer hat made her feel empowered, this was a feeling she wanted to give others.
“When my friends and family purchased Team Tanya hats, I thought well, I’ll use part of that money to buy Overcomer hats for patients,” Olscamp said.
As she began her chemother- apy process, she spoke with the patient navigator at Valley Regional and asked how many chemo patients they see in a year. There are approximately 200. Olscamp wants to get an Overcomer hat for each of them.
She said the hats are also about comfort. Chemotherapy affects body temperature and patients often feel cold.
“There are patients who come for treatment that have very little and some don’t even have a hat,” Olscamp said. “I just felt really called to try to do something helpful.”
Olscamp said every time someone buys a hat for $20, they’re also buying a hat for a chemo patient or people can donate directly. She has a www. Gofundme.com webpage that has raised $500 as of March 8 and people can order hats directly through e-transfer or the mail. Overall, she has raised just over $1,000 to date. Olscamp hopes to reach her fundraising goal by the end of March.
Just over a year ago, as part of