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Gophers rower learns how to sew face masks

Minnesota senior Natalie Stratton decided to lend a helping hand after her athletic career was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minnesota — Natalie Stratton is charting a new course at the University of Minnesota following an abrupt ending to her athletic career as a varsity rower with the Covid-19 crisis.

"I’ve always been interested in healthcare and I want to become a physician. I wanted to give back in some way," Stratton said.

The senior decided to take things into her own hands, literally, and started sewing face masks.

"My mom kind of had to sit down with me and walk me through the whole process, how to sew in a straight line, and how to get the pleats pinned ... honestly the longest part is measuring the fabric," Statton said.

Things were slow going in the beginning.

"Initially, when I started making them, it was taking upwards of an hour. Now I can get three or four done in an hour," she said.

The Wisconsin native hopes that by lending a helping hand, she's making a  difference.

She has donated 40 face masks already and is looking to make 40 more this week for children's hospitals in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Stratton is graduating next month from the University of Minnesota and is applying to medical schools to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor.

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