Our Motivation

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I will never forget the day we found out my Mom had cancer. I knew something was really wrong the morning (May 2013) that she called me to let me know she had bent over to water her plants outside in the yard and heard a “crack”. We rushed over to help her get to the hospital and have her checked out. I knew for quite some time that she was having pain around the center of her back and she couldn’t get comfortable no matter how she sat. Further, she was walking very slowly and experiencing shortness of breath for well over a year. It turned out that she did break her back. BREAK HER BACK?? BENDING OVER TO WATER HER PLANTS? After X-rays and the fractured back diagnosis, she was scheduled for a procedure called “vertebroplasty”. The goals of the vertebroplasty surgical procedure are to stabilize the spinal fracture and to stop the pain caused by the fracture. We were told that she would be up and walking the same day. During the surgery, the doctor didn’t like what he saw and decided to take a biopsy. She didn’t respond as the doctor anticipated to the surgery and was still suffering horrible back pain. Her doctor ordered a variety of additional tests including a bone marrow biopsy and MRI. In early August of 2013, we got her definitive cancer diagnosis and it ripped a hole in the lives of everyone who loved her. The results showed that she had end stage non-secretory Multiple Myeloma. Looking back now, it seemed to me that she had symptoms for several years before her diagnosis – anemia, bone pain, excessive thirst, shortness of breath and fatigue to name a few. None of her doctors could figure out the cause of her symptoms individually or collectively.

After beginning aggressive chemotherapy she really deteriorated rapidly. She could not handle the intensity of the chemo and the side effects that came with it.  The pain in her bones was horrible and she just couldn’t take it anymore. We had taken her to the hospital a few times because of the pain and the last time she was sent home with hospice care. Without the chemo there was nothing more that could be done and with the chemo there was no guarantee that she would go into remission. It was her decision to stop the chemo and just wait until the end. Luckily, I had moved to Florida to live near my Mom in February 2013 before we knew she was sick. I was able to spend 10 months with her. Unfortunately, because her Multiple Myeloma was of the non-secretory type and by the fact that most of that type of mm (1%-5% of all cases) is primarily diagnosed in a later stage rather than earlier, she died within a few months. I was fortunate to be able to sit with her every day until she took her last breath on November 13, 2013. She was only 71 years old.

My Mom gave me a tremendous amount of support over the years, whether assisting my business monetarily or giving me endless encouragement and being there when I needed a shoulder to cry on. I wanted to do something in her memory that would benefit people for years to come. I believe in making a difference, even if just in a small way. The phrase “a portion of proceeds will be donated….” doesn’t really tell the whole story. What does that really mean? We want you to feel good about your purchase and want you to know that $10 from the purchase of each “Cancerversary” piece will be donated to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation in continuing their amazing work in finding a cure for Multiple Myeloma. As the world’s number one private funder of Multiple Myeloma research, they have raised over $275 million since inception in 1998. Nearly 90% of their total budget goes into research and related programming. Donations enable the advancement of numerous, promising new Myeloma treatments that benefit thousand of patients worldwide. Even if you decide not to purchase from us, please consider the importance of this organization and make a donation in Ina Depari’s name here:   http://ow.ly/OePPp

Thank you for your kindness……..