09 September 2013

Cards for CANSA Project... A Trip Down Memory Lane

Hi Everyone
With October just around the corner and it being regarded worldwide as Breast Cancer Awareness month, I am reminded of a project I undertook with some stamping friends in 2010.  Gosh, was it really 3 years ago? 
I was browsing through some old documents of mine and came across an article that was published in a local newspaper in Worcester, the Worcester Standard.  It is in Afrikaans, but if you use the Translate on my blog, I am sure you will get the gist of what was printed.
Some background for those who haven't been around since 2010
My cousin's wife, Obie Woolward, had bravely undergone a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy and thereafter become very involved in the Worcester Relay for Life project, which was introduced by the American Cancer Society.   She is an incredibly inspirational person and I am pleased to report that she has been cancer-free for these past 3 years now.  She is still very involved with CANSA in her Community as I regularly receive posts via FB.
Whilst Obie was receiving her post-op treatment, I made her a card of encouragement (see below).
She was so thrilled with it, that she later asked if I could make 100 cards, as she and her Committee wanted to give all cancer survivors who were attending the Relay for Life event a gift bag and they wanted to include a card of encouragement inside.
I was touched that my card had meant so much to her and immediately said Yes.  After a good night's sleep, the reality of the situation sunk it and in bewilderment I thought: How on earth was I going to make 100 cards within that short space of time?  I had just joined a wonderful group of stampers in South Africa, known as the Rubber Stamping group of SA and immediately enlisted their help.  Read all about it here.
The response was overwhelmingly good and in the end we had more than doubled that request.  Please click here,and here to see some of the beautiful cards that were created. They even arrived as far as New Zealand and Australia.
Why am I taking a trip down memory lane?
In a few short weeks it is October, so if you know someone who is fighting breast cancer or someone who is a Survivor of breast cancer.  Send them a card and let them know how much you love and admire them.  The reward you will receive is beyond measure.  I cannot tell you how my heart fills up with emotion when I remember the wonderful group of ladies, whom I had only known for a month, rise up to the challenge and without any hesitation signed on to assist me with this project.  All cards were sent to me so that I could pass them on to Obie.  Some ladies shared with me how Cancer had affected their and their family's life.  It was an incredibly emotional experience for me.
As some of you may/may not know, I have embarked on another charity project and am finding such enjoyment making cards with a PURPOSE.  Making cards for them to lie in a box somewhere is just not doing it for me anymore.  I have made it my mission to FIND a charity to donate my cards to, so that they can bring a smile to someone's face.
I am hoping you will be inspired to embark on something similar in your community.
Here is a copy of the article from the Worcester Standard.  It is in Afrikaans, but you can use the Translate function should you wish to read it in your own language.
Thursday, 09 September 2010 14:05 | Written by Worcester Standard 
DIE idee het begin met net één kaartjie, ’n boodskap van ondersteuning en meegevoel aan ’n kankerlyer en voor jy jou oë kon uitvee, het meer as tweehonderd inspirerende kaartjies wat aan kankeroorwinnaars, die eregaste by CANSA Relay For Life Worcester, oorhandig sal word, ingestroom.
Die voorsitter, me. Obie Woolward, wat die eerste kaartjie van haar aangetroude niggie ontvang het toe sy nog chemobehandeling ontvang het, sê die kaartjie het haar baie spesiaal laat voel.
“Oral waar ek gegaan het, het ek hierdie kaartjie saamgeneem vir almal om te sien. Ek wou hê hulle moes sien iemand dink ek is spesiaal!” sê Woolward.
“Veral daardie dae net na my chemo, as die pyne te erg word en ek myself bejammer, het ek die kaartjie gegryp en die woorde behoorlik hardop gelees sodat dit my moes motiveer om aan te hou glo en baklei tot die bitter einde.”
Volgens Woolward is die effek wat dit op haar gehad het, beide fisies en psigies, ongelooflik.
“Dis ook wat ek vir elke survivor wens wanneer hulle hul kaartjie gaan kry. Elke survivor is belangrik en spesiaal,” sê Woolward.
Me. Sharon Keanly, Woolward se aangetroude niggie, onthou hoe sy eers getwyfel het of sy dit sou regkry om die 100 kaartjies wat Obie vir die oorwinnaars aangevra het te verwesenlik. Gelukkig behoort dié kaartmaker aan Rubber Stamping in South Africa (RSA Stampers), ’n groep wat bestaan uit stempelaars en handkunstenaars van regoor Suid-Afrika.
Die RSA Stampers het toe uit 186 lede bestaan. “As elkeen net een kaartjie kon maak, sal ons verseker meer as 100 kaartjies kan skenk,” het Keanly gedink.
Sy het die volgende oggend haar versoek aan die lede via e-pos gestuur en nog voor sy klaar als gestuur het, het sy die eerste positiewe antwoord ontvang – ’n aanbod om 10 kaartjies te maak!
Elke unieke kaartjie met sy inspirerende woorde is in pienk of lila en het ’n lint om kanker te simboliseer aan die voorkant.
Volgens Keanly was die lede wat ’n bydrae gemaak het so bly dat hulle deel van die projek kon wees, dat hulle haar bedank het dat sy aan hulle gedink het. Elkeen se lewe is op een of ander manier deur kanker geraak, sê sy voorts.
Tot op hede is daar om en by 234 kaartjies van so ver as Australië ontvang.
“Almal is geregtig op hoop,” sê Woolward, “En die dames wat soveel ure en liefde daarin gesit het om die pragtige kaartjies te maak wil juis dit promoveer, want hulle self is deur kanker geraak.”
Aan ander kankeroorwinnaars sê Woolward: “Moenie jouself onderskat nie, moet ook nie die mense rondom jou onderskat nie. God weet waartoe jy in staat is. Kyk op en hou aan glo.
Moet asseblief nooit, nóóít ophou hoop nie.” Sy nooi alle oorwinnaars om saam te deel in CANSA Relay For Life en die dag saam met ander oorwinnaars te geniet.
CANSA Relay For Life Worcester, wat in samewerking met die Standard bekendgestel word, vind 16 en 17 Oktober deurnag by Kleinplasie plaas.
 * * *

Thanks for taking a trip down memory lane with me and once again a HUGE thank you to the RSA girls who made this happen.  I salute you all!
Take care, hugs


1 comment:

Petra Swart said...

Hi Sharon.
You are one amazing lady, my friend!! Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic project of yours with us - you have the most wonderful ideas for reaching out to people around you.
I have already identified two places in George where I might become involved in the same way as your Card Fairy project. I haven't approached them yet, but will hopefully do so in the next couple of days.
PS. Love the new photo on your profile!!