It is with incredible joy that we launch a new coin in the ‘Share the Love’ series dedicated to fighting cancer and benefitting the American Cancer Society. Our first coin with three words on the back, these words were chosen to give meaning to those affected by cancer: LOVE, COURAGE, STRENGTH. Cancer has affected my beautiful friends and family, from all aspects of my life. Here are their stories.
A story about Amber, my friend from college…
A few years ago, a friend from college reached out to me when she was diagnosed with cancer. She wanted to work with me to create a special coin to help her through treatment. She emailed me the most beautiful poem that she wrote describing her feelings and experience with cancer. Inspired by her poem, we created a coin with water, a heart and the sun. Along the way we have had many requests for a coin that is designed specifically for the diagnosis and journey of cancer. To hold on to during the fight. To celebrate the wins. To remember those who lost their battle.
A story about Sue, a friend I spend all summer with year after year…
Sue is a young Mom to 3 gorgeous girls. So active, engaged, down to earth. The words “Sue has cancer” are honestly none that I ever imagined would be spoken. She’s too young! She’s so healthy! Sue was diagnosed with a rare form of mouth cancer and recently had a large part of her tongue removed. But listen – I just got off the tennis court with her and she kicked my…😊
Sue purchased her PROTECT coin when she was first diagnosed and has worn it ever since. She said it makes her feel protected, stronger, and braver when she enters one of her appointments, treatments, or scans. Although cancer is not anything she would have chosen to have in her life, it is a constant reminder to focus on what is important; the present moment. It is the greatest lesson in keeping life in perspective and letting all the small things go.
A story about Sol, my daughter’s best friend’s MOM and now also, a BFF…
When I first met Sol I knew IMMEDIATELY I wanted to be her friend. A native of Madrid, Sol has a thick Spanish accent and a joie de vivre that literally makes you stay up all night dancing, trying new food and drink, laughing…she is LIFE. I mean, her name is SOL, the sun. When I started Jane Win and I couldn’t afford a model - Sol came and worked with a photographer to create our first advertisements. She has been with me since day one – an incredible support and dear dear favorite friend. I remember like it was yesterday, I was walking across the grass in this park that we both go to, and she came to meet me, she grabbed my arm so fiercely and through tears she said, it’s back and I don’t think I can do this again. I knew right away that her breast cancer had returned. How naive of me to be surprised. After a million rounds of ‘why me’ and ‘this isn’t fair’…she came to - we all came to…you will beat this.
The most aggressive surgery. Radiation daily for what felt like an eternity. We are on the other side of this second fight. Sol is always dripping in her Jane Win coins, proudly talking to every.single.person. during her treatment who will chat about her piles of gold jewelry - a pleasant distraction and way to connect during the hours spent in doctors appointments.
A story about my dads, Dexter Lishon Burley and step-dad James Thompson, who I miss every day.
I lost both of my fathers to cancer. My dad lived with leukemia for a really long time, and he was my ROCK. A gentle person, a gerontologist, an academic, a gardener, he had a very old soul. I remember the call where he said, the leukemia has “changed” and he said some words that may have been in a foreign language. He did not say, I am going to die from this. I wrote the ‘foreign words’ down on a Fedex box that was in the kitchen and then googled them…and I knew he would die. So we spent weekends taking walks. He told me “I will always be with you” and I was so angry - I said NO YOU WON’T. He died very peacefully with my brother and I holding his hands. And literally as I write this, as we designed this coin to benefit the American Cancer Society, he is with me. He is with me every day and I will wear this coin in his honor.