And to Danyelle, thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm so glad that the world is made up of people like you and even more glad to call you friend. Your generosity and strength of spirit inspires me. Hugs to you sweet friend!
For today's lucky bidder, I have a gorgeous necklace handcrafted by another amazing woman in my life, Sonja. Sonja and I met back in college and have been laughing together ever since. We have been separated often over the years while our families pursued jobs and schooling but have always come together again and picked up right where we left off. Sonja is the perfect friend for me; she is genuine and true, loves diet dr. pepper almost as much as me, and she's just as at home in sweats and a t-shirt as she is all glammed up and we have had the most amazing times together. I am completely at ease with her and know she feels the same about me.
Sonja started an amazing accessories line last year and has been creating the most beautiful pieces. Pearls & Pumps Boutique is chock full of gorgeous, original and beautiful creations. I wore this necklace to the Sarah Sample concert last year and the impeccable Sarah herself swooned over it. I get comments every time I wear something of Sonja's and I love that it doesn't look like the jewelry you see everywhere else.
Sonja is offering her amazing Isabella de la Fleur necklace and is similar to the one below, but she has springified it and added in pops of red, yellow and blue. If you love statement jewelery and have something to say, bid away! And those gorgeous girls in the picture? That's Sonja in the blue and her lovely daughter Gabbi so you can see how divine her taste is. I love you Son! Thanks for being your gorgeous, thoughtful, generous self!
I know another girl who loves to make a statement.
Valerie and I worked together with the scouts a few years ago and I noticed a few things right away: 1) she has a ton of energy 2) she is always happy and ready to get to work 3) she adores her family and 4) she is committed to health and works hard at it. Here is some more of her story:
I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer almost a year ago, after my OB-GYN found a nodule on my neck during a routine exam. Many people (esp women) have nodules, and I was told only about 1-2% are cancerous. I had an ultrasound and a biopsy, and the result came back that it was indeed cancer. For someone whose last health problem was having my tonsils out at age 6, cancer was not something I expected to deal with. The hardest part was waiting for the results/confirmation. Although most thyroid cancers have extremely high survival rates, nobody wants to hear that word as part of their own (or family member’s) diagnosis. My husband was in Iraq with the military and I had 3 young kids--ages 9, 7, and 2. Throughout the entire experience, I felt an abundance of extra blessings from God, and I never felt overwhelmed or asked why. I attribute my ability to handle the situation to my faith, and to all those were praying for me and for the families of those serving our country.
I had my thyroid surgically removed without any complications, started running just 1 week later, and prematurely announced myself healed. J Thyroid cancer has a unique treatment, given that the thyroid is the only organ that absorbs iodine. About a month after the surgery I took a high dose of radioiodine, intended to be absorbed by and destroy, the remaining thyroid cells—even if they had spread elsewhere. This makes thyroid one of the most “curable” cancers, (although since there is no cure for cancer, you can only be declared in remission). Even with such a treatable disease, I am missing an organ that regulates body temperature, metabolism, heart rate, and a million other systems. Most people respond quickly to the new medication, but I did not--spending almost 6 months debilitated by extreme fatigue and other issues. Finally after months of frustration, Dr. appts, blood tests, and changes in medication, I am finally feeling better. My life will always be dependent on the medications I take, and I will always be checked for recurrence (thyroid has a 20-30% rate, although I personally am at low risk). I am very thankful for the medical technology and research that has saved my life and allows me to continue to live without a necessary organ. I wish everyone with cancer that opportunity, especially those who should have many happy, healthy years ahead of them. I have friends and family members who have won, lost, or are still fighting leukemia, breast, prostate, throat, colon, and pancreatic cancer.
I hope if nothing else, my experience encourages others to do 2 things—1) schedule regular Dr. appts b/c early detection is vital for cancer victims, and 2) Be understanding and helpful to those who are feeling the strains that cancer can bring into the lives of those affected.
Valerie's diagnosis hit home for me because our lives are incredibly similar. We are about the same age. Our children are the same age. We love our husbands. And seeing cancer affect her reminded me that I could be next. Luckily, Valerie is doing well. She has fought and come out on top but I know cancer and it's destruction will reside with her for awhile longer, even if her body is free of disease. That's what cancer does. It comes, it terrifies, and all too often, it wins.
Bidding starts at $10 and will go until 9 pm. If you're inspired by Valerie and want to help, please consider making a donation here.