Lauren and I met in our very first photo class in college. My first impression was that I was going to hate her. She asked for my help with a roll of film and we started talking. By the end of the day, I just knew we were going to be friends.
But that day... I had no idea what kind of a friend she would become. The best kind of friend a girl could ask for...
- A here through thick and thin - kind of friend.
- A backpacking through Europe, roommate, bestie, wingman, confidant, maid of honor at her wedding - kind of friend.
- A forever - kind of friend.
I'll never forget the day I heard the news. I was standing in my bathroom, getting ready for work when Lauren called...
"Hey - I have some bad news..." (I thought..."Shit...she's gonna cancel girls night this week.")
"I have breast cancer." (holy shit)
"Don't freak out or cry or anything... it's gonna be ok." (after a moment of panic, I said... "Well now what...?")
Our lives would never be the same.
Almost three years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As a 26-year old this was obviously something I never saw coming. Or ever could've imagined would happen to me. I remember sitting in that room hearing those words…we found some cancer…and feeling almost paralyzed. As odd as it sounds…I wanted to laugh. Hard. How in the world could this be happening to me?!?!? I’m young. I’m healthy. I don’t have time for cancer. Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse...I got more bad news. Chemo. This one hit me the hardest.
So your best friend has breast cancer. I'm sure you can imagine all the thoughts and fears that would consume my mind... so I'll skip that part.
Lauren was going to have to go through chemo. She forbade me from shaving my head... but I had to do SOMETHING. I bought my very first lottery ticket so that I could win and pay all her medical bills. In case that didn't pan out (it didn't)...I just needed to DO something.
Lauren and I agreed some years ago, that if we were ever stumped on birthday gifts, we would both like to receive coffee table art books... and SHOES! We have always shared a love for shoes, and always lamented that we don't wear the same size. It wasn't her birthday, and there wasn't a reason to celebrate per se... but a gift seemed appropriate.
One day, about a week before chemo started, I was out shopping for the softest, cutest, best scarves available and stopped in a shoe store. I had an idea. And that's when I saw them. The Shoes. These were no birthday shoes...
These would be her Chemo Shoes...
The morning of Lauren's first chemo treatment, I packed a bag with snacks, games, magazines and gifts. (Lauren LOVES surprises and receiving gifts. I L - O - V - E giving the perfect gift, and this time I had it).
After she checked in and and the doctors prepped her, I unpacked the gifts. When I saw the look on her face as she opened that box... I knew I had nailed it.
I'll never forget my first day of chemo. I was terrified out of my mind but tried to not let it show. My now husband and best friends came with me to try to take the edge off which is something I will always be grateful for. As we settled into our corner with bags upon bags of games and snacks and all things happy...I was ready to get started. I had worked this up so much in my head that I was sure the chemo drugs were going to feel like acid in my veins. As the first medicine started...my best friend, Sidne, pulled out a box.
I immediately got a huge smile on my face because who knew you got presents for starting chemo?! As I made my way through the wrapping paper and opened the box, I had to laugh out loud at what I saw. High heels. And not just any high heels. Five inch, bright blue, glittery, spike covered heels that couldn't have been more perfect. As I held the shoes up for everyone to see...Sid went on to explain that they were my chemo shoes. Because in those shoes I was going to kick cancer's ass.
And that's exactly what I did. I wore them to every single treatment...without fail. And over time a funny thing started to happen. I actually started to look forward to when I got to wear those shoes. When I thought about chemo I didn't think of sickness and meds and my disease...I thought about those shoes. And in the middle of something very dark and depressing...they gave me a reason to smile. And more importantly...they gave me hope.
When I look back on my time battling cancer...I immediately think about those shoes. I don't think about how horrible I felt about myself...or the endless doctor appointments...or the sickness...or the countless hours spent hooked up to machines. I think about my chemo shoes. Because when everything else seemed so grim...those shoes were my little piece of happiness. Sidne knew when she gave them to me they would be exactly what I needed. And she was so right.
When you are diagnosed with cancer, everyone wants to help. They want to do something. But truthfully...there's nothing they can do. They can be there for you. They can buy you hats and scarves and cozy chemo blankets...or they buy you SHOES!!
Sidne and I both knew we had to share our story with the world. Because we know just how powerful these shoes can be. These shoes are something friends and family can give to empower their loved ones. To inspire them to dig down deep and let out their inner superhero. To give them something to look forward to. And most importantly, to give them hope when it is so desperately needed.
Our story has inspired us to make it possible for every woman battling any kind of disease to rock their own pair of Healing Heels. With your help, we hope to manufacture a line of seriously kick-ass shoes for women everywhere to conquer whatever it is they are facing. We hope that these shoes will breathe life into people who really need it...and we need you to help us do just that.
And to anyone who says a pair of shoes can't change the world...think again. Because they sure changed mine.
Thank you so much for believing in us and the power of Healing Heels.
Know someone who would love to rock some Healing Heels? Here's how you can help spread the love:
We will love you forever. :)
DISCLAIMER: These shoes in no way treat, prevent, or cure any type of disease or illness. But they may cause severe increase in self-esteem, attitude and over-all awesomeness. You've been warned...
Risks and challenges
We know manufacturing our own line of shoes is going to have it's fair share of challenges. We anticipate all production to go as scheduled but in the event that we do run into delays of any kind, we will be open and communicate with our backers so they have the most up to date information on our project status.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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