2011 - I walked the track continuously at my first Relay for Life event, wondering how this could possibly help somebody with cancer. Throughout the night I kept seeing a co-worker who had been recently diagnosed - how was this helping? My mother and daughter told me about a booth fundraiser I kept missing on my rounds. For $5 I could get a bead starter string, and then each lap I walked, I could get a free bead. So I walked and decided to build a necklace for my co-worker. My mom and daughter helped. We walked though chiggers, fatigue, blisters, swollen feet, spilled coffee, soggy dew, and we kept walking because we wanted another bead. The experience called to us; we became messengers, and we were deeply touched. After the Relay, I put the necklaces together as one, amazed to be so close to a marathon. I wrote a letter about our experiences, and mailed the package, not knowing how it would be received, but knowing how much it meant to me. My co-worker was deeply touched, and I often saw this grown man proudly wearing his necklace of children’s beads.
2012 - We were determined to deliver the same message to yet another co-worker diagnosed with a recurring cancer. Unfortunately our event ended early due to lightning.
2013 - We headed up the Relay for Life team and offered beads at our booth. We built several necklaces for cancer patients.
2014 - People were so moved to walk for necklaces, that we brought the necklaces to a second Relay for Life event. We soon realized cancer is not seasonal, and so we started making off-Relay necklaces for cancer patients.
2015 - We realized our message wasn't reaching many folks in need and that cancer does not have a corner on the misery market. To help spread the word and teach others how to do the same, we incorporated, became a 501(c)(3), and organized our first event - the Big Bad Bead Bash.
2016 - We continue to walk and build hope...