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Yesterday’s Hobby Fights Today’s Coronavirus

Yesterday’s Hobby Fights Today’s Coronavirus

How himagine’s Mandy Feagan, her mother, and a host of Lynchburg, VA residents helped support local frontline healthcare providers by crafting desperately needed masks

Many people know that himagine employs some of the country’s best coders and registrars. Now, they should know that those employees also have big hearts.

Take Mandy Feagan, for example. She’s a Lead Cancer Registrar at himagine. Her primary client is located in California, but she lives in Lynchburg, Virginia, which has become a hotspot for COVID-19. As the devastating effects of the disease were becoming apparent, Mandy’s sister, a respiratory therapist, shared her worries that protective masks were in dangerously short supply, and new shipments would not be forthcoming. Her sister only had two N95 masks and would have to keep using them until they were too dirty for use. She thought that clean fabric masks might extend that lifecycle, but those were hard to find as well.

Mandy knew just what she had to do. Sewing had long been a hobby for her, so she found a pattern online for a mask with a pocket for an N95 filter. Then came a week of evenings and weekends practicing with a YouTube video to get it right. Mandy’s mother had a collection of fabric in her closet, which she contributed to the cause. Then, both women took to their sewing machines.

Within two weeks, Mandy and her mother crafted approximately 50 masks, which they’ve donated to the local Centra Lynchburg General hospital, Centra Alan B.Pearson Regional Cancer Center and Bentley Commons, a senior living community. Jeff Price, Bentley Commons’ Director of Community Relations, remarked, “Mandy’s talents and resources have helped us ensure that we can do our part to keep our staff, and more importantly, the residents in our care safe and healthy. We are eternally grateful and blessed that she was willing to partner with us on this important initiative.”

Mandy also sent a set of masks to the Pearson Regional Cancer center where she worked before joining himagine. She explains, “One of my friends there is an oncology nurse, who told me that she had been using the same mask for more than a week. She’s immunocompromised, so I knew how dangerous that could be for her.”

Since she began making the masks, Mandy connected with Gleaning for the World, a non-profit organization that gathers hand-made masks, launders them, and distributes them to hospitals. “A lot of people like my friend are putting their lives on the line to fight the pandemic. People like my mother and me aren’t doing that. But we can sew something.”

himagine encourages everyone to do what they can to help our frontline healthcare providers during this crisis. Support your local community efforts, including food banks for those who’ve lost their jobs. Like Mandy, sew masks if you have the supplies and the skill. Most importantly, stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, wash hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds, and take appropriate measures to stay healthy.

To learn how to make your own mask, visit:

Are you supporting your local community during this crisis?  We’d love to hear your story!  Use the form to the right to tell us your story and we will share it with others!

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