Partial proceeds of the sale of each F Cancer bracelet is donated directly to InspireHealth, a not-for-profit integrative cancer care centre. More than $100,000 has been raised to date.
At 38, Susan Fiedler, a jewelry designer and world traveler, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In her own words, here’s why she has started the cause, F Cancer Embrace Life.
“The thing that impressed me most about InspireHealth as I made my way through treatment was the generosity and strength of the people who cared for me. Without them, and without the research that had made my disease treatable in the first place, I wouldn’t be here. As I recovered, I knew I needed to show my support and appreciation.
My first act was to participate in a fund-raising triathlon in Hawaii. Through sponsorships, I raised almost $20,000! It felt great to do something so positive, but the “rah rah” mood and corporate vibe surrounding the event turned me off. Could there be a way to raise funds and awareness that was a bit more individualistic, more “me”?
Visiting my friend Ameen one day, I noticed a beautiful metal cuff covered in Arabic script sitting on a shelf. He told me that it was a special bracelet from a mosque in India, and that the writing, from the Koran, was meant to protect the wearer. I loved this idea and decided I would make my own charmed bracelet. After all, I’m a jewelry designer; what better way to express what I’d been through?
Believe it or not, "Fuck Cancer" was the first protective phrase that came to mind. The strong language worked for me. Not because it was shocking or obscene, but because it was honest, sassy – and funny! "Fuck Cancer" said that cancer hadn’t killed the rebellious, daring part of me.
Once I had made the bracelet and showed it around, all my friends wanted one, including one of my doctor pals! Everyone loved the subtlety and elegance of the design combined with the raw emotion of the statement. People who’d lived with cancer “got it” immediately. It was what we all felt, but what no one wanted to say.
The more I wore the bracelet, the more I felt "Fuck Cancer" was something that needed to be said. I also liked the idea of being part of something that I saw happening on the internet: not quite a community, but a shared attitude.
I knew that a designer "Fuck Cancer" bracelet would be terrific fundraising item and conversation starter. What a great alternative to those horrible plastic wristbands proliferating everywhere! I wanted to create something that felt more substantial; something strong and beautiful, to make myself and anyone who wears it feel that way. I hope you like it.”
1. Nothing against pink ribbons, but this bracelet tells it like it is.
2. Big battles need big words; fighting cancer demands the courage, self-awareness and that secret source of power — a sense of humour.
3. Wearing a F Cancer bracelet brings plain speech and a little 'charm-bracelet magic' into a battle that’s worth our lives.
4. Visit the F Cancer Embrace Life website: http://www.fcancerembracelife.com/