There are times in life when we're privileged enough to meet people who encourage us, inspire us and mold us into who we never thought we could be. In 2004 after transferring from a junior college to Sacramento State I was fortunate to take a journalism class with Professor, Dr. Leah Vande Berg. I was warned prior taking her class what a tough cookie she was, and that I should think it over. As someone who doesn't judge people prior to meeting them, I didn't listen to the jargon. I will never forget the first day of class when Leah told us that she had been battling Ovarian Cancer but was now in remission. She was so thrilled that her hair was finally growing back and was optimistic about her future. For the first time in a class I was comfortable debating others and voicing my opinions. While visiting during her office hours she assured me (despite what others told me) that "journalism is a noble profession." A few months later while out shopping, I ran into Dr. Vande Berg at the mall, when I told her I'd see her that week in class, she mentioned that she was going in for surgery, but would do everything she could to be back. I hoped and prayed that the cancer hadn't returned and that this was just a fluke. When I saw her in class that week I figured everything was okay, but unfortunately it wasn't. Leah mentioned that a Professor was going to be temporarily taking over the course, but she would be back.
The last time she returned it was to apologize for dying as Dr. Vande Berg wasn't given more than a few months to live. Her husband, also a Professor on campus organized a surprise Christmas Carol for her. Many of Leah's students showed up in front of her home in November singing Christmas carols in her honor. Christmas lights adorned the front of their house as if it was the middle of December. I will never forget the look of glee and surprise on her face as her husband escorted her from inside their home. An empty chair was waiting for her on their sidewalk as everyone serenaded her. When I went to give her a hug, I didn't think she would know me by name as she had so many students. I was shocked yet impressed when she said, "Candi how sweet of you to come by." My mom made her one of her signature quilted Christmas ornaments in the color teal, in honor of what she was going through. It'll be six years on December 13 that she passed away, and to this day I have never forgotten nor will I ever forget how she strengthened this girl to become the woman she is today. God bless Leah and everyone else who has fought or is currently fighting this battle.
Yesterday I was touched by etsians who shared with me how Ovarian Cancer has affected their lives. I'm truly honored to be featuring their work and how they're paying tribute to their mothers, friends and dear loved ones.
A Little Bit Of Hope Special Edition – Quick Kits
"10% of sales of sales from these kits are donated to The National Cancer Institute to the National Cancer Insititute (in your choice of cancer research) and another 10% to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance in honor of my mom." – Quick Kits
Sweetie Pie Design – Size 2T Gilda Sundress – Ready to Ship — 100 percent of the proceeds from this dress will be donated to further Ovarian Cancer research – by Sweetiepiedesign
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Handstamped Sterling Silver Circle Keychain – Cindyludesigns
"$5 of each sale will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Southwest Ohio" – Cindylu Designs
Women's Teal Cancer Awareness Bracelet – Be Well Designs
Ovarian Cancer Awareness Teal Flower on Black Dupioni Silk Wrapped Headband – LouLouTuTu
"50% of every headband purchased will be donated to help raise awareness and fund research to help stop this disease. Please visit www.ovariancancer.org for more information." – Loulou TuTu
Teal Awareness Bracelet Ovarian Cancer – DiwaDesigns
"20% of the purchase price for each bracelet will be donated for cancer research. Donations will be made to the following foundation or you may specify the organization of your choice: Ovarian Cancer Research Fund For more info visit: http://www.ocrf.org " – Diwa Designs
Brave Girl 5 x 7 Greeting Card Whimsical Mixed Media – JCSpock
Annette's Angels gives 50% of each item sold to FORCE (Facing our Risk of Cancer Empowered) as well.
If you'll be making any purchases at Amazon, Target, Nordstrom, Apple iTunes, Best Buy, among many other well known stores, be sure and visit Support Ovarian Cancer Shopping Alliance beforehand as they will donate (a percentage or fixed amount) to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance for every purchase made.