Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a patient’s procedure.
CLEMSON, SC(WSPA)–Carla Boyd, the mother of former Clemson football great Tajh Boyd, is using her organization to share a story of trauma to bravery.
“When I was 15 I was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer, and the cancer left a distinguishing scar on my neck. So, on the left side of my neck. Only girl in high school with a scar. I felt very self-conscious, because when you’re 15, the last thing you want to do is have a scar on your neck,” said Carla Boyd, Founder of Scarves for Scars.
Aside from physical scars, Boyd’s diagnosis and surgery also left emotional scars.
“So my friend would make me scarves to match all my outfits, bring all the scarves to school, cover up the scars on my neck,” Boyd said. “In August of 2020, I was like I want to do that for other people that had scars from different surgeries from different cancers.”
Today, her business, “Scarves for Scars”, is impacting many.
“I wanted to turn my story like turning trauma into bravery. I don’t want anybody to do cancer alone. You have a support team. You know when you have cuts on your body, you feel shame, but these scarves can help you feel beautiful,” Boyd said.
As of this year, her fashion statement pieces are in eight stores across the Upstate. The scarves are in Heartwarmers Gifts and More in Seneca, Bliss Boutique in Walhalla, Newtique Boutique in Pendleton, and Dear Rosie in Seneca. The scarves are also in all three Tiger Sports Shop Stores.
“You know I kind of connect to it in a way because I have seen family members go through cancer, so I think it’s good that someone is finally talking about it and being more natural about it,” said Anne Marie Sesny, Staff Member, Tiger Sports Shop. “They stand for so much and some people don’t realize that, that little symbol and everything stands for so much,” Sesny said. “I’ve sold like a handful especially this weekend.”
The symbols on the scarves represent Boyd’s resilience and strength.
“It’s showing strength and resilience and it turns trauma into bravery. Instead of me just feeling sorry for myself, I wanted to encourage and share my testimony with other people that went through a cancer experience, in hope that it gives them some hope,” Boyd said.
Boyd said the all-in-one scarves can be used as a headwrap for those going through chemotherapy. You can also wear the scarf around your waist, as a shawl, and a sarong. Women who had a double mastectomy can also wear the scarves as a halter-top.
“I hope that they realize that their money is going to a good cause and it’s just not buying some material piece of clothing. You know, it’s actually going to something real,” Sesny said.
Boyd hopes her scarves with be the gift of hope for everyone to fight through any battle.
“I want them to look at the meaning behind it and if they know anybody that has struggled with cancer or is battling right now, pick up a scarf, because there’s not too many gifts out here for people with cancer,” Boyd said.
Boyd said at the end of the year, she will give a percentage of the proceeds to the Shriners Hospital for Children. She hopes it will help kids fight cancer and find a cure.