Jewellery for a cause
Editor’s Note: Wellspring gratefully received a donation from a Juliana Sydoruk. Juliana started Jewels by Joules selling beaded jewellery through Etsy. Juliana started making beaded jewellery to give her best friend something pretty to look at as she struggled with the emotional affects of having a mastectomy. From there, people started asking her to make pieces to purchase and her business on Etsy was born. Along with supporting other charities, Joules committed to gifting a percentage of her sales to Wellspring as her friend found such great support at Wellspring.
Visit her Etsy store here.
Here is her story in her own words:
I have never had a personal connection with breast cancer – until now. No one in my family has ever had it, so it has not really been on my radar much other than knowing a handful of women who have. No, it’s not me, but my dearest and best friend, Becky. She is my soulmate, my sister in all ways other than biology. In the fall of 2019, she announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and that she was scheduled for mastectomy surgery in a matter of weeks.
A few days prior to her big day, she confided in me that what she was experiencing emotionally was akin to someone who is about to have an amputation. That comment stunned me. I had never thought of it that way, but it was a brutally raw and real description. I was speechless. Everyone talks about hoping that all the cancer is removed, and that it hasn’t spread, but I realized that there is another aspect to this. Whatever the outcome, the body is changed. Forever. How does the survivor cope with this part of the journey? My lovely, gracious Becky is the last person on Earth you would ever consider self-absorbed or vain. Far from it. She has always accepted her body as it is – a gift, regardless of the frosty touch of years or scars life gives her. That is why I was so shocked at her comment. What could I say? How could I help her? What could I do to support her? I knew I was way out of my league to respond to such a thought. Of course, there were the food deliveries, phone calls and prayers to support her, but I still felt compelled to do more. Her “amputation” comment still clung to me.
In the days that followed, as I was busy tidying and organizing my various crafts, an idea struck me. If I made her a beaded necklace, perhaps she will focus on that rather than her “changes.” I do not profess to have any inkling, truly, of what she was really going through inside. I think you must live it to really understand it. Naive, I am, but I thought at least it might cheer her up when she’s down.
After her surgery, she recovered beautifully, and I am ecstatic to say she is now healed and in the clear. No cancer left. She is in good spirits and gracious as ever. She was grateful for the beautiful necklace I made for her but said what really helped her emotionally was being introduced to a support group of breast cancer survivors. I was so happy to hear of such a thing. We have all heard of donating to cancer research and cancer awareness – I now found how I can support her, and others impacted by breast cancer.
This experience is what has inspired me to launch my bead jewelry company, JewelsbyJoulesCanada. In support of breast cancer survivors, for each jewelry piece purchased from my JewelsbyJoulesCanada shop, I will gladly donate 10% of the proceeds to Breast Cancer Support Groups.