Thursday, May 29, 2008

Crafting for the Cure

While scanning team forums and treasuries a few months ago, I noticed that Kellirene had put out a call to fellow Etsians to help support her participation in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Kelli had listed some of her shop items as donations, and I followed her example. When I sold my first Cancer Awareness item, I contributed that amount to Kellirene’s walk. The more I searched, the more Etsy Cancer Awareness listings I found, and I was able to make a couple breast cancer treasuries to promote these items.

I’m not a gregarious person: I don’t have dozens of friends and not too many relatives live near me, but somehow the number of people I know personally who’ve dealt with cancer issues in the past 16 years is sobering: 14 friends and family members have been fighting it and three of them have died. It’s difficult to not see cancer as an epidemic.

Most of us at Etsy rely on our creative work to feed our souls. The idea of losing that outlet sends a shiver up my spine. My dear friend Nancy was a potter and a long-time teacher at Pullen Arts Center. There was a strong women’s support group at our church in the early ‘90s, which inspired many of us to start working toward our true work, what Buddhists call “right livelihood.” Along with our good friend Cathy, Nancy and I began taking ourselves seriously as artisans. The three of us gave each other essential emotional support during our first craft shows in the early ‘90s.

Following a mastectomy in 2001, Nancy’s immune system was compromised due to an aggressive case of lymphedema; she was no longer able to touch clay. You can imagine the heart loss she suffered. When Nancy died last month, her family and friends were shattered. I lost my dear friend and a much treasured part of my art support system. I relisted more items from each of my shops as sales benefiting breast cancer awareness and I send the amount of each sale to the Lymphatic Research Foundation in honor of Nancy.

I contacted Kellirene again when I started writing this article. She was quite excited to hear others had been influenced by her endeavor. But listen to this: Kelli has raised over $1700! She took a lot of teasing six months ago when she told friends and family she was going to raise $1800, but it looks like she’s going to reach her goal before the big Walk July 12th and 13th in San Francisco!

Kelli is now donating half of every Etsy sale to her fundraising efforts. Please take a minute to read about Kelli’s success on her page on the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer website.

— Janine Maves, AltheaP /TalkingDog


  1. What an awesome article. People like Nancy are such blessings in this world.

    Thank you so much for including me in your article and I'm proud of your effort to help!

    God bless.

  2. Janine, thanks for mentioning this in the thread. I am glad i read it. ox joonie