This post might seem to come out of left-field, given our happy looking-back at last year a couple of days ago, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to write ever since I found these awareness ribbon-shaped earring forms a while ago. I remember wearing a red ribbon all through high school every December 1st, for AIDS awareness, and a pink wristband for breast cancer awareness. The ongoing Ice bucket challenge has garnered so much awareness and tremendous support for ALS, and has sparked much-needed discussion into why so little funding is available for research being done on such devastating disorders. One of my favourite videos, in case you’re interested, is by a Professor at the University of Zurich. It talks about the same thing – in four languages, mind you -and his entire lab takes the challenge.
We don’t want to take away any of the spotlight from ALS, but the entire movement got us thinking. Awareness is so important. One person giving their time and money is invaluable, but if more people knew about certain disorders, more people would give. It’s as simple as that. And so we wanted to find a way in which we could contribute a little to raising awareness for different conditions. This month marks our first such ‘Awareness through Jewellery Challenge’. We’re picking illnesses and causes that are personally important to us, and creating pieces that we hope will spark discussion and promote awareness. If you remember, our friend Debi does quite the same thing!
Jewellery is such a nice medium to incite discussion. I’ve lost track of how many times someone has complimented jewellery I’m wearing, or I’ve complimented someone on theirs. So our hope is if someone sees us wearing unusual jewellery – like awareness earrings in an unusual colour, for example – they’ll ask us about it, and we can explain our concept, and maybe create a personal connection, or give the disorder a face. I think one reason the Ice bucket challenge resonated with millions is because so many of the videos were by people who had a story to tell about how ALS impacted them, one way or another. That’s what sucks you in, beyond the awed fascination inherent in watching people willingly dump ice over their heads!
September is Leukaemia and Lyphoma Awareness month. I’ve focussed on lymphoma, and since you can find any amount of information over at these wonderful websites, I won’t go into detail about the ins and outs of the disease. Suffice to say, it’s not easy – either on the patient or on their caregivers. The awareness colours are lilac (for Hodgkin’s lymphoma) and green (for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma). I was thrilled to find two-toned Czech fire-polish beads in exactly the colours I wanted.
I’ll leave you with a quote that really strikes a chord with me. Everyone has scars, visible and unseen, and I thought this was just beautiful.
I’ll be wearing my earrings every day this month, and I hope lots of people stop and ask me what they’re all about! If any of you have a cause you’d like to see featured, let us know, and we’ll be happy to spread awareness in our own little way.
“How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” – William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice