A few years ago, when I first created Revive Jewelry, there were two main people who inspired me to find a way to help other people and their families. One of them is my brother, Zack, who was diagnosed with Lupus in 2012. Zack continues to motivate me but right now, I want to tell you the story of my grandpa Mike, who was the other huge inspiration for the designs I create today.
Growing up, my grandpa Mike was like a father to me. He always showed up for the big events in my life—whether it was coaching my softball team, helping me get my first car, or even giving me my first job. I’ll always remember the little moments with him, like how calm he helped me feel when he first taught me how to drive on the freeway. He was always there for me and my family in all of our struggles.
My grandpa Mike had such a caring and important influence over me that I think I inherited his entrepreneurial spirit! Some might call it stubbornness, but I call it independence and strength! Since my grandpa thrived and cared so deeply for the people around him, I look to his example for guidance in everything I do.
Very soon after my brother’s diagnosis, my grandpa was diagnosed with another severe condition: lung cancer. Within a month of finding out he had cancer, my grandpa died. I was heartbroken. Not only did it happen so fast, but I had to say goodbye to someone who was an integral member of my family. It hurt not to have him by my side. I felt scared to face a world without him. I didn’t know what to do in such a powerless position against the disease that stole my grandpa away from me. I also knew I had to find a way to persevere so that I could support my brother’s journey with Lupus.
For a while, I didn’t know what I could do to help. Then, it hit me: I wasn’t alone in this experience! If I could find a way to unite all the people who have lost someone to lung cancer, or knew someone who was facing the disease in that moment, I could regain my power and find the courage to keep going. I turned my devastation into fuel for the cause.
Now, I find so much inspiration in the people who have been a part of my life, but also in this community of Change Makers who support disease research and awareness. By rallying together to fund research and get the word out about devastating diseases like lung cancer, we can help prevent them and support survivors and their families.
I think about my grandpa Mike almost every day. I’m so thankful that he’s still such a huge part of my life as I work on creating new designs to raise support and advance awareness towards a cure. He left an amazing legacy in the strong family he raised and the community he helped inspire.
If you’d like to help support those affected by lung cancer, consider shopping from the Support Lung Cancer Research Collection.⠀