You know her as Mama Boyd. The mother of Tajh, former star quarterback at Clemson and on one of the building blocks of the Dabo Swinney era.
Many feel that the Tigers current success began with the signing of Mrs. Boyd’s son back in 2009. What many did not know at the time was they weren’t just gaining a great leader, quarterback, and future ambassador for the school, they were also getting another “momma.”.
Carla Boyd can still be seen at the practice facility and around the Clemson athletic program on occasion. Even now, years after her son has finished his football career and education there.
Clemson fans have become quite familiar with her over the years but there is one thing many might not know. She is a cancer survivor. This is part of her inspiring story and how she is working to help other cancer patients out any way she can.
Today, Mama Boyd is running “Scarves for Scars.” It’s a company that designs scarves and was something that was born due to her battle with cancer, which she was diagnosed with at the age of fifteen.
“They sent me to a pediatric endocrinologist,” Mrs Boyd said. “By the time I got to see the endocrinologist I had a golf sized tumor that had spread to my lymph nodes and my voice box. I ended up having an eleven day stay in the hospital. A nine and a half hour surgery, 42 staples in my neck, and I was the only girl in Asbury Park High School in New Jersey with cancer.”
Thankfully, one of her high school teachers and a textbook led her to discovering the mass in her neck.
“I was in home economics class in ninth grade and we were talking about iodine deficiencies and how that’s why they wanted us to use iodized salt,” Mrs Boyd said. “So, they had an illustration in the textbook. It had a little boy with like a goiter in his neck so I, along with all the other kids, started feeling our necks and stuff. That’s when I felt mine. So, yeah, I felt my neck and I went to my teacher. They sent me to the nurse and the nurse sent a letter home about it because back then they sent notes home.”
Mrs Boyd was in for an ordeal that would be rough for any adult. However, she would be going through it at a time in her life when she should have been enjoying high school, friends, and her teen years carefree.
At that age no one should have to deal with cancer, and to make matters worse, she was a young lady in her formidable years who was also suddenly faced with having to deal with a noticeable scar.
“My scar, it was like, you 15 and you don’t want no scar on your neck,” Boyd said. “So my friends would bring me scarves at the hospital to cover up my scar because I was self conscious.”
This is precisely how her “Scarves for Scars” was formed and as the business grows, so do her plans for some of the proceeds.
“I’m going to take some of my proceeds and donate them,” Momma Boyd said. “I’m also gonna team up with St. Jude Children’s Hospital for pediatric cancer.”