The inspiration

Myself, Bailey McNeill, sporting Crystals4Cancer

Myself, Bailey McNeill, sporting Crystals4Cancer

A wonderful description of my background, why I started C4C, and how I run the business is available in an interview I did here. 

But here is a quick summary...

I started Crystals4Cancer to give back in a small way to the Myeloma Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, an amazingly supportive medical community that has backed my father in his fight against multiple myeloma since his diagnosis in September of 2006. I've been going gem mining in the summer with my grandparents and cousins ever since I can remember, and before Crystals4Cancer, all of my beautiful rocks and gemstones would sit around in dusty boxes in my garage. Most of them come from Randall Glen farm and gem mine in the North Carolina mountains, a place where some of my most fond childhood memories have been made. When I first began to follow my passion and make jewelry, both with my rocks and with beads and charms, I realized it was going to be quite a time consuming activity. I wanted all my time to amount to something more than just a profit- I wanted what I was doing to actually matter. The Myeloma Institute was the first organization to come to mind, for it has had a huge impact on my family and my life. Although my ultimate contribution may not be huge, I hope that by donating 50% of profits to the Myeloma Institute, they can continue to make a difference in the lives of people like my dad. More information about the Institute's mission can be found on myeloma.uams.edu.

 

About Multiple Myeloma

My dad and me at my preschool graduation

My dad and me at my preschool graduation

In a basic sense, multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that causes the body to produce abnormal amounts of plasma in the bone marrow. The overproduction of plasma suppresses the body's ability to manufacture healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Currently, multiple myeloma is treatable, and the average life span for patients is 5 years following diagnosis; however, no cure has been found. MIRT continues to make groundbreaking discoveries in treatment options, and strives to find a cure for multiple myeloma.