She is battling cancer and loves to crochet toys for children who are also living with cancer, but she is heartbroken after she was told she could not crochet in a library, and it’s why she contacted Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

It should be a curse word, cancer.

Gladys Bower: “Yes, I have lung cancer and pancreas cancer. They waiting to see if it’s spreading all over now.”

Gladys is battling stage four cancer. Even worse for her, the memory of visiting her 6-year-old grandson at the hospital when he had cancer.

Gladys Bower: “I broke down crying when I see all these kids with cancer. I broke down crying. I didn’t have cancer at that time. My grandson have cancer.”

And that’s when she had an idea.

Gladys Bower: “I hope for a little girl here, little airplane. The light blue airplane. It’s not perfect, but they get happy with it.”

Gladys started crocheting toys for children battling cancer.

Gladys Bower: “I’m going to go next month to Children’s Hospital, donate it, those kids make you happy.”

And she discovered crocheting the toys not only makes the children smile, it helps her.

Gladys Bower: “It’s relaxing, so I’m not thinking about all. I got cancer. I got this.”

Now, the problem: Gladys crochets in a class offered at the South Dade Regional Library.

Gladys Bower: “Oh, my God. It’s like a therapy for me.”

Then, one day, an employee came up to Gladys as she got ready to go into the crochet class.

Gladys Bower: “‘Oh, Ms. Bower, you cannot go to the class.’ I said, ‘Why?’ She said, ‘No, the teacher doesn’t want you there.’ I said ‘why?’ She said, ‘I don’t know.'”

Gladys says being told she could not come into a class that gave her so much comfort, stunned her.

Gladys Bower: “It broke my heart, really broke my heart. I know I’m sorry about this.”

It bothers her that she is barred from a class at a public library and has no idea why.

Gladys Bower: “If I did something wrong? I asked them to forgive me. What? I don’t? I don’t know.”

Well, Howard, can you be banned from a class in a public library?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “No, libraries are open to the public. Gladys was registered for the class and had a right to go to the class. It’s legally that simple.”

We contacted the Miami-Dade Public Library. They sent a statement saying: “Their programs are open to all residents. That in this case, the volunteer class instructor and the library staff, believed that the class was at capacity, not realizing Ms. Bower was already registered.”

A spokesperson called it an unfortunate misunderstanding. The director then called Gladys and apologized.

Gladys Bower: “She said, ‘You can come back.'”

Gladys said she appreciated the director contacting her, but she might not go back to the class because she fears the instructor doesn’t want her back.

Gladys Bower: “Howard, if she comes to me, if she comes to me and talk to me tell me, what is your problem? Maybe I will go back to her. I am floored by how perfect this is.”

Gladys will now focus on crocheting for the kids battling stage four cancer with a the best attitude she can.

Gladys Bower: “But I trying my best to smile. I’m doing my best. You know. What can we do?”

Battling stage four cancer, and she wants to make everyone happy by smiling. You are amazing, Gladys, and she told us the difference between crocheting and knitting.

Gladys says crocheting is one needle, knitting is two needles. See the things you pick up on Help Me Howard.

Got a problem needling you? Book with us and tell us. Let us knit together a solution.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.


Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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