Skilled Designer is Creating Fashions Again with Support from Lakewood Team


Everyone is born with certain gifts. What those gifts are is different for everyone. For some, it may be as simple as being the trusted confidante everyone turns to when they need an understanding ear. Others have an innate sense of humor, making everyone laugh with their quick wit. Some have athletic abilities perfected through hours of practice, while others are gifted at capturing beauty through painting, sculpture or poetry.

Annie Gardner’s gift is fashion design. Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Lakewood team became aware of her talent when they began providing care for her this summer.

“When Annie first came to us, she was in a lot of pain,” said her nurse, Cathleen Arndt, RN. “We were able to work with her to make some adjustments to her care plan. She is on a pain pump now, which is managing her pain. Recently, she was able to make a trip to the fabric shop so she could fulfill an item on her bucket list: finishing a suit and a gown she had started. The suit is now finished, and she is working on the gown.”


Annie told the team her dream has always been to design women’s clothing. She even opened her own shop close to David Simpson House in Cleveland’s Collinwood community, where she was living her dream. Word of her incredible design skills quickly spread. Her clientele soon included several well-known personalities, including singer Eric Nolan Grant of the O’Jays. 


Annie and her husband had purchased their own home where they lived for some time until her extended  battle with cancer depleted the couple’s resources. “Although she lost her shop, she continues making the most amazing gowns and suits for prom for the younger generation,” Cathleen said. “This gives Annie the will to live. And she never lets the cancer get her down.  

“What amazes me the most is that she designs the most artistic clothing, yet she never uses a pattern. Her clients simply explain what they want, and she makes their wishes come to life through her beautiful creations.”

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Northern Ohio's Hospice of Choice

More than 1,000 Hospice of the Western Reserve employees and 3,000 volunteers live and work side-by-side in the same neighborhoods with our patients and families. We are privileged to have cared for more than 100,000 Northern Ohioans since our inception.