CLEARWATER, Fla. — Darlene Garland jokingly calls herself “a miracle worker.”
For the thousands of patients the seamstress comforted over the years at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, she is indeed something very special.
Garland has sewn comfort caps for cancer patients going through chemotherapy for 32 years. From stuffed bears for scared kids in the emergency room to heart pillows for women recovering from mastectomies.
She continues her relentless pace despite the fact she is battling ovarian cancer herself. The disease recently spread to her neck.
“This week I feel fatiguish,” Garland admits. “It really wipes me out.”
She recently made herself a cancer cap. It is a lovely red.
“It gives me some color," Garland jokes. "I’ve been so pale!”
Darlene is a force of nature. When she started this job, she had more than 80 volunteers. Noe there are just six volunteers. A lot of her help passed away. As for young people?
“Kids don’t know how to sew!" Garland says. "They just go out and buy things!”
Darlene is always looking for volunteers. If you know how to sew and would like to help her out, call (727) 461-8010.