Dublin Villager

Cancer survivor's headbands benefit Spielman Foundation

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Cancer couldn't get Lorrie McCarty down.

In fact, it's strengthened her resolve to help others.

The 14-year Dublin resident is raising money for the Stefanie Spielman Foundation through her company that came about from her fight with cancer.

In 2010, the mother of two was diagnosed with breast cancer.

McCarty fought the cancer with surgery and chemotherapy, losing all her hair in the process.

When her hair came back, an idea for Heads Up Bands came with it.

"My hair came back curly," McCarty said. "My hair grew out and became completely uncontrollable."

To tame her locks, McCarty fashioned a headband that became very popular among friends.

"I thought maybe I've got something," she said.

"My husband said I needed to do something," she said, adding that keeping busy kept cancer worries at bay.

"It evolved. I knew immediately if it was going to be anything I was going to give back."

Heads Up Bands was created in 2011 to sell the nonslip headbands with the help of McCarty's friend and current business partner Trish Mazurek.

The company sells Heads Up Bands online and at local retailers such as the Columbus Running Company, Harbor Yoga, Bakers Garden Center and Premiere at Sawmill.

It is also working to raise money for the Stefanie Spielman Foundation.

It began with a small project that raised $550 for the breast cancer research foundation in two weeks.

"I thought maybe we can do something better," McCarty said.

After a meeting with the Stefanie Spielman Foundation, McCarty set out to find a design for the Spielman design for a headband.

"I wanted to design a band that speaks to what the Spielman fund does, but doesn't focus on breast cancer," McCarty said.

A design was chosen that has a logo and says "Continue to Fight Continue to Live."

"We have produced 5,000 bands," McCarty said. "The goal is to sell all 5,000."

Of all Spielman headbands sold, 100 percent of the proceeds go to the Stefanie Spielman Foundation.

"I'm so thankful I'm here," McCarty said.

"I got a call I would not wish anyone to receive. I keep hoping something we're going to do might help.

"It's paying it forward and I'm so passionate about it," McCarty said.

So far, 600 Spielman bands have been sold and McCarty plans to give the foundation a $10,000 check this month.

"We are beyond thrilled," she said.

And McCarty's good will doesn't stop there.

Several other organizations have approached Heads Up Bands for fundraisers of their own.

"We have a business part, but we're taking it and making it a little more than that," she said, noting bands designed and sold for different charities and nonprofits get a portion of sales.

But the Stefanie Spielman Foundation remains McCarty's key focus and she hopes to sell all 5,000 bands.

"The Spielman fund is my baby because being a survivor and being in Columbus you can't help but feel connected to that," she said.

"And all the money donated goes to research. There's no administrative fees, no overhead fees."

For information on Heads Up Bands or to purchase a Spielman band, go to headsupbands.com.

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