DEFEATING Childhood Cancer.
I began this journey as one voice, as one mom trying desperately to rid cancer from her family. I had been searching for a way to make a difference since the minute Reese was diagnosed. Now, there are three ways that little me attempts to defeat cancer. These include action and prevention.
- Lemonade 4 Leukemia – funding the cutting edge research that is saving lives affected by cancer. (Yes, we will be making lemons into lemonade again, come summer!)
- Be the Match- promoting bone marrow donor registrants across college campuses. (You will be hearing about this mission from us this fall.)
- Proactive Replacing- removing toxic ingredients from our household, and sharing this with others.
My New Year’s Resolution this year was to replace toxic products in our home with CLEAN, safe products. I started with the products with the most potential to cause harm, and I am working my way through these now. Naturally, I began with the products that come in contact with our largest organ, our skin. I started with my children and trickled down to myself and my husband.
“Currently, 1 in 5 products on the market contain ingredients that are known to cause or are linked to cancer (especially breast, this is scary stuff.) Other health problems that skincare and beauty products can contribute to include: allergic reactions, respiratory problems, neurological problems, weight gain, infertility, thyroid problems, birth defects, gastrointestinal problems, kidney problems, acne and more.”
I joined Beautycounter because I believe in their mission, and it aligns perfectly with mine. (Beautycounter’s Mission Statement: Here.) Every one of their innovative and high-performing products is made with an industry-leading standard of safety. Everyone deserves this.
Once I felt that my family’s skin was free of toxins, I moved to our environment. Since mid-January I have been systematically going through my household items and replacing them with CLEAN alternatives and blogging about this process. I began in my laundry room, then I moved onto my dish washing soaps, then pots & pans, and finally (some, not all) cleaning supplies. I dove deep into sunscreen. This brings us to today.
I know that we are more powerful in numbers. It is for this reason that I started my search for strong women. Women with my goals, my mission, my mountaintop. I am thrilled to announce that my team has grown. I would like to introduce you to Tonya Heim and Laura Hendricks. We are tied together by a purpose and our resolve is strong. I will be sharing more information about our powerhouse trio over the next couple weeks. To say that I am fulfilled by my partnership with these women is an understatement.
Tonya Heim lives in Bellevue, Iowa. This is my husband Chris’ hometown. Tonya and I were brought together when Reese was diagnosed with leukemia. We share the caregiver title. Tonya’s mother’s courageous battle with cancer lasted 13 years. During this battle, Tonya led a donor search and subsequent efforts for donor recruitment. She then stepped up when Chris’ family ran a drive in Iowa for Reese. She has been beside me during my journey toward a CLEAN life, it’s personal. And it is a natural fit that her and I should be on this mission together.
Laura Hendricks is my neighbor and confidant. We were also brought together by fate while Reese was hospitalized at UCSF. One day I received multiple emails that Laura had been diagnosed with leukemia at home. We had many common friends, but we had never met. I began following her on Caring Bridge and then our lives became intertwined while she fought through BMT alongside Reese, but here in Chicago. Laura and Reese have something else in common, they are both in remission. Since our return to Winnetka, my friendship with Laura has grown and our mission is powerful and shared.
The world needs more women like Tonya and Laura. I am so thrilled to be partnering with these friends. More to come!
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