15 months ago I was leaving my husband’s treatment center feeling helpless and sad about the number of people I saw having chemo. It was his first treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and at the time we all said (including the medical staff) that he got the “easy one”. We were the “lucky ones.”
I remembering calling my sister and friends and telling them about others who were being treated and weren’t so lucky. How I just wanted to do something to make them feel loved.
I was driving home from the treatment center and felt like I had to go back and give more of me to all of the people there. I thought a start might be to give everyone hot meals to take home to their families. I raced (literally) to an Italian deli – I actually got pulled over by a cop for the first time ever! Luckily when I hastily explained my plan he let me off and told me God bless and good luck. I made it to the deli and back to the treatment center in time to deliver trays of hot meals for a couple days for everyone being treated there. I felt empowered. I felt like I could do something to make people smile, to make them have one less worry and to make them feel loved.
Every other week when my husband, Steve, went for treatment, I came up with a small random act of kindness. Some weeks we brought baked goods, Halloween candy, blankets, and Christmas gifts for people’s families. I felt like I was turning a sad situation in to a happy one. I enjoyed going with Steve to his treatment knowing that we were making people smile!
I knew that I had to do even more and reach more people. Around the same time, I was at the Pink Aid fashion show and saw a Breast Cancer survivor walking the runway with her granddaughter in the fashion show. Her granddaughter was wearing one of my LOVED necklaces. It occurred to me then that everyone needs to feel LOVED -- especially those going through difficult times in their lives. Especially women with cancer. I decided that for every LOVED necklace we sold, we would donate one to a woman with cancer. Pink Aid has been amazing in helping us find women and we are thrilled to have also hooked up with Breast Cancer Alliance as well.
We started the LOVED campaign about 10 months ago and are thrilled that to date we have donated 132 to women with cancer.
My jewels are meant to make people feel beautiful and these pieces in particular make women look and feel wonderful! I love the feeling that when you are wearing one of my LOVED necklaces or pink sapphire moon necklaces, you know that you have also given the gift of a LOVED necklace to a woman who really needs to feel LOVED.
My most recent design the pink sapphire moon gives back 10% of proceeds to BCA and Pink Aid and gives a LOVED necklace to a cancer patient. I was inspired to create the sapphire moon because there is something peaceful, and magical, about gazing at the moon. It reminds us we are part of something so much larger in this universe.
I’ve been designing jewelry for 5 years this winter. I am blessed and lucky to have found the perfect job and because of that I constantly want to pay it forward and give back! 20% of my profits always go to charity. The LOVED campaign is a forever campaign. Next up will be our Miami rainbow necklace which we will be teaming up with a LGBT group to give back.
Mitchell and Richards, the stores where I sell my jewelry, has a campaign “Look good. Feel wonderful.” I hope that my jewelry does that and so more.
The LOVED necklaces and Pink Aid and BCA pink sapphire moon necklaces are available at Mitchell's or you may email me at Jennifer@genevievelau.com for more information. They start at $895 and are solid 14kt gold and made in NYC like all of my jewels.
As far as my husband, we weren’t as lucky as we thought. His HL wasn’t so easy. His HL ended up not going away after 6 months of chemo so he needed a second line of treatment. He was able to get in to a clinical study that is using a smart chemo drug in combination with an immunotherapy drug. It was a tough 3 months of treatment, but the great news is that he was the first person in the trial to have a complete response to treatment and is now in remission. So that part is lucky and wonderful news for the medical world. He is starting the process of a stem cell transplant as I write this and we feel blessed that he is beginning this in remission.
As far as luck goes, I do think we’ve been lucky that his diagnosis enabled us to get to know and be inspired by the incredible people battling cancer. We’ve met so many amazing doctors, nurses and patients who are miracle workers and miracles. After the last 15 months of being at different treatment centers and hospitals, I see even more the need for women to feel loved. Pink Aid says, “compassion till there’s a cure.” I’ll add to that “compassion and making people feel LOVED till there’s a cure.”
Anecdote from Aini Rockwell – recipient of LOVED necklace
Receiving my 'Loved' necklace was a very emotional moment for me, in a lot of different ways. It was powerful and sobering that a complete stranger would hand me this beautiful piece of jewelry just because I had breast cancer. In many ways it represents the complexity of emotions that come with cancer. It is a horrible diseases that brings you to your knees but at the same time opens up a hitherto unknown and unexpected wealth of people who lift you up. I refuse to thank Cancer for anything but I cannot deny the bonds of friendship and love that have been brought about by having it. On a daily basis seeing the word 'Loved' in the mirror every day reminds that I need to beat this disease because I have four young children who need their mom, and a husband who needs his wife. I am loved by them, and they are loved beyond measure by me. It is my talisman, and I can't really describe how powerful that subtle reminder is every day, and especially on the darker days. In this current climate, and because of the circumstances of how I received the necklace, directly from Jen Lau herself, it is a wonderful reminder of how people are still willing to give so much of themselves, even when they have their own battles to face. A reminder that there is so much good in the world; so much love.