For now, please visit facebook.com/verabradleyfoundation or verabradley.org for updates on the Vera Bradley Foundation.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
ANGOLA, INDIANA - "I'm the first" she told me, "first in just about everything you don’t want to have to go through in life" and then she laughed really hard.She's just a delight, my new friend, Amy, because she is constantly positive. It's obvious from the first moment you meet her; she really exudes that kind of everything-will-be-just-fine attitude. So sweet and refreshing!
Of course, her situation is totally serious. Not a laughing matter at all. She's the first of her friends to get breast cancer, she told me. THAT kind of first. But just in her short journey with this disease, her impact is being made aware to everyone. Many of her dear friends immediately went to get mammograms when she was diagnosed. Two of them received call-backs for suspicious reads of those scans. Just like that, she transitioned from patient to advocate. To life-changer. To hope-giver and inspiration. Just like that.
She does tell her friends that they need not worry. "If it’s a one in eight situation" she says, "I'll be your one. Just be sure to only have 8 friends!" And then I hear that laugh again. Delightful. :)
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - Twice a year, Vera Bradley throws a party. They invite all of their friends to attend, and it is everything you would think it would be. It's more fun than you can imagine, the food is spectacular and you learn all about our product and designs. You also actually get to meet the co-founders. In person. And they are delightful, in case you were wondering. :)
I always get to share my own personal story, and that of the incredible Foundation that Barb and Pat started nearly two decades ago (the Foundation part is astonishing to me; you do know that $20 million have been pledged to cancer research, right?).
Much like every other gathering, I met many new cancer patients and survivors, and reunited with ladies who have been social media buddies for years now. It's always a great time.
This time; however, I received something entirely unexpected. I received a message that said someone had made a small video of me as I was speaking. Her goal was to show it to her dear friend who was struggling on her journey with cancer. I spoke on April 14th, and tried to impress upon everyone how much we need to help one another. Just take care of people who struggle with this disease, I begged.
Jill, my online friend, did just that. She supported her friend, thought about her and took back encouraging words of solace.
Jill's friend passed away on the 19th. It was, and will always be, a poignant story for me. All of our words matter, dear friends. I will forever be reminded of that fact as I remember Jill.
I'm so sorry for your loss, Jill. But I am eternally grateful for that amazing act of kindness. You have allowed my entire Vera Bradley family to be included in the most precious time, and we are all humbled by your gesture.