Kari, a friend I grew up with, announced on Facebook that she has cancer. Reading her updates makes my heart ache, but I admire her courage and attitude. Her father died from cancer and she has four young children at home — having cancer is not what anyone wants, especially Kari.
I do sit back with a smile however, when she posts motivational memes like: “If the finish line feels too far away, don’t look at it. Just look down at your feet and take your next, best step.”
She is a fighter and although she surrendered her hair to chemo with some self consciousness, last week she announced that all of the active cancer cells have been eliminated. Tears come to my eyes when I think of the loving hands that have reached out in support, to help carry the load when it gets too heavy. One support group in-particular, Lifting Hearts, has been particularly helpful.
Living two states away, I don’t have the privilege to bring a meal, watch her kids or simply sit and listen. However, inspired by Kari’s trial, Teething Toes is a new product I’m working on which will soon lend support to help young moms with cancer.
Created by a mom, Teething Toes is a bite-sized silicone toe sock for babies to self-sooth and receive teething comfort. Most teethers are difficult for babies to effectively grasp and use, but Teething Toes is easily worn on a foot or hand.
Proceeds from Teething Toes will support the Rapunzel Project and their effort to help chemotherapy patients keep their hair during treatment. Studies have shown that wearing a cold cap slows down the metabolic rate at which hair cells absorb nutrients or anything else in the blood like chemotherapy drugs.
As a result when the chemo in the blood goes into the hair follicles the absorption rate is minimal, and most hair can withstand this level of attack. Research available for one brand of cold caps has shown that over 95 percent of all patients who have used the caps would use them again.
Cancer sucks. My heart hurts for those who walk the journey to fight and recover from the disease. I’m inspired by women like Kari, who with faith and determination, face the trial one ‘best’ step at a time.