A National Honor for Lasting Impact
As noted later in this issue, 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Lara Plewka ’98 MacGregor of Louisville, Kentucky, died on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Age 45, she passed away from metastatic breast cancer.
A full obituary is available online (with a link to a video interview last year in conjunction with her DAA). In this space, however, we celebrate recognition she received in December, when she was named the 2021 L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth National Honoree for her impact as founder and director of the international nonprofit Hope Scarves, which through scarves, stories and research supports people facing cancer.
She was spurred to found Hope Scarves in 2012 following her experience facing cancer at age 30, when she was also seven months pregnant. The cancer went into remission for seven years, but returned in 2020 and she was diagnosed with terminal stage IV metastatic breast cancer.
L’Oréal Paris posted a citation online when announcing her award, following it up with this tribute after her death: “A beloved wife, mother and friend, Lara leaves behind a legacy of compassion, advocacy and the joyful pursuit of living every day to the fullest…
“As founder of Hope Scarves, Lara supported women like herself facing cancer through a simple gesture of kindness: the exchange of head scarves and stories of hope from courageous survivors. Ten years on from the organization’s infancy, Hope Scarves has delivered over 20,000 scarves across the globe and raised over $1.5 million for metastatic breast cancer research.”