Friday, January 25, 2013

1 Million 4 Anna

One of the great joys in life, I think, is doing something that truly means something to someone. I am fortunate that I get the opportunity to experience this rather frequently. Creating jewelry may seem like a trivial thing do to, and sometimes it feels that way, but then you get to work with a bride to create the perfect necklace for her or her attendants, or a pet paw print for someone who just lost a beloved animal, or a baby footprint for a new mom or grandparent. In that moment, I know I have done something truly meaningful. Not meaningful in the grand scheme of things, but meaningful to that one person. It is the very best part of my job.

A few months ago, an old classmate of mine got in touch with me about an organization she was involved with called the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation, which was created in honor of one of her former students. She told me a little bit about Anna, and how she had passed away after battling Ewing's Sarcoma, a cancer of the soft tissue and bone that typically affects those between 10 and 20 years old. Then she said that the foundation was looking to create jewelry designed from the tattoos that Anna had. Naturally I was more than happy to do so.

As the creative process went on designing these necklaces, I learned more and more about Anna. I have exchanged emails and phone calls with a few people close to Anna and one thing continues to blow me away. The amazing love that Anna felt for everyone and the overwhelming love that everyone she touched feels for her and the positive ways they keep her memory alive.

One of the ways they have done this was creating the 1Million4Anna Foundation. The over all mission of this foundation is to completely wipe out Ewing Sarcoma, but in the meantime they are raising money to help those battling today. Keeping these warriors spirits up while going through chemo by going on trips, gifts from projects like Anna's Closet, as well as providing support for affected families are just some of the ways the 1Million4Anna Foundation is making a difference. They also raise money to provide college scholarships for when the battle is over and the next stage of life is set to begin.

I couldn't wait to help. Working with Anna's mom and others close to the organization, we created three necklaces to celebrate Anna and to help raise money for this amazing cause.

The first of these pieces is necklace that says simply "Float On". This was Anna's first tattoo which was inspired by the Modest Mouse song of the same name. Her parents kept saying no to her getting a tattoo but the day after they received the news that cancer still existed in her bone marrow, her mom picked her up early from school to take her to get it. I love the simple positive message these two words carry with them. This piece can be found here

The second piece was created from the second of Anna's tattoos that she got 3 days after she turned 18. It is a West African tribal symbol meaning "By God's grace, all will be well." Anna got this tattoo on her right hip, the sight of the primary tumor. It is a beautiful design and carries with it a beautiful message.

The third necklace combines the two tattoos as well as a purple crystal. Purple was Anna's favorite color and it is the signature color of the 1Million4Anna Foundation. There is also a small charm at the back that says "12:12". At , people pledged to pray for Anna at 12:12pm every day. A time that was chosen because of the prayer that they would say for her. Romans 12:12 which says "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" This piece can be found at

As you can imagine, I have been so unbelievably honored to work along side this amazing organization, work with such amazing people, and work for the memory of sweet, amazing Anna. Please take a moment and visit to learn more.