Headbands of Hope: Spreading Hope & Funding Childhood Cancer Research
Happy Monday, friends!!! Today I am excited to share about a very sweet organization that is striving to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer and the field of childhood cancer. Headbands of Hope.
Headbands of Hope was created by Jessica Ekstrom, a senior at North Carolina State University studying communications. Jessica launched Headbands of Hope in April 2012 during her junior year. Since then, her company has been featured on the TODAY Show and TOMS Shoes Blog.
Jessica isn’t just aware, she is DOING something! I want to warmly welcome Jessica to my little home on the internet, and I invite you to read on as she shares the heart and vision behind the wonderful organization she founded…
Almost everyone can think of a moment where they knew their life was about to change. For me, my moment was right before my 20th birthday in the summer of 2011. I began my internship at the Make-a-Wish Foundation that I can confidently say, changed my life forever.
Everyday, I got to wake up and grant the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. I took day trips to visit the wish kids at their houses and bring them their favorite toys. We received hundreds of letters from wish children that said we changed their lives; little did they know, they were changing mine.
I thought about the thousands of girls around the world losing their hair to chemotherapy. Being a young girl presents many struggles with self-esteem already and losing their hair as a result of a life-threatening illness is traumatic.
For girls and women everywhere, their hair is a part of their feminine identity. Wigs can be uncomfortable and unappealing, especially to younger girls.
I realized that headbands are the perfect way for these girls to keep their feminine identity and have a constant reminder that they’re not alone.
Therefore, I started HeadbandsOfHope.org.
(Click here if you are having trouble viewing the video on the page.)
For every headband purchased, one headband will go to a girl with cancer and $1 will be donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund life-saving childhood cancer research.
Since I launched in May of 2012, I’ve sold thousands of headbands online and in stores around the nation. We’ve been featured on the TODAY Show, TOMS Shoes Blog, Fitness Magazine and more.
But more importantly, I’ve had the opportunity to distribute headbands to girls in the hospitals across the nation. The best part of my job is opening the door to their room and seeing their faces light up when I bring dozens of colorful headbands to their beds to choose from.
Even though it’s fun and fulfilling to bring the girls headbands in the hospitals, I’m constantly reminded that there still isn’t a cure.
Childhood cancer takes the lives of more children in the U.S. than any other disease – in fact, more than many other childhood diseases combined.
Children with cancer cannot be treated simply as “smaller adults.” The cancers strike kids differently and they are in a crucial stage of development, which complicates the effects of treatments and can result in life-long complications.
Progress is also especially slow in curing adolescents and young adults, because federal funding for childhood cancers is a fraction compared to adult cancers.
Therefore, attention needs to be brought to childhood cancer. Progress can’t be made without research. Research can’t be done without funding. And funding can’t be done without awareness.
Headbands of Hope aims to start with awareness and end with a cure. Together, we can spread hope in all girls…one headband at a time.
Be sure to visit and show your support for Headbands of Hope by following the organization on Facebook and Twitter! You can also find them on Instagram as @headbandsofhope and @headwearofhope and on Pinterest too!
So what are you waiting for! Join me, and purchase a cute headband and be part of making a difference… And tell others about Headbands of Hope! Share! Share! Share! It truly takes a village…
Seriously. A MUST READ.
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