Diagnosis Inspired


It’s October, a month that use to mean a change of seasons. Bringing out the jeans, sweaters and boots; it’s my favorite time of year. As I’ve gotten older it signifies something different. Instead of the colors of changing leaves we are surrounded by a sea of PINK. For October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


Everyone knows someone that has been touched by Breast Cancer. Mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, breast cancer knows no age. My own mother had a scare 10 years ago, at age 44, which resulted in a lumpectomy. Thankfully they only found, and removed, pre-cancerous cells and she didn’t require chemo or radiation. She had to have mammograms every six months for a few years and is now back to once a year. She just received an all clear this month… after a bit of a scare. She is diligent about her checkups because she knows she is at an increased risk, which in turn makes me aware of my increased risk.

But what about women under the age of 40, without a family history of breast cancer? According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that 13,110 cases of breast cancer will be in women under age 40 each year. And there is no effective breast cancer screening for women under 40!!! Young women have to be diligent with their own self breast exams each month and pay attention to any noticeable changes.

Scrolling IG (my obsession) one evening, I came across a really cute hands-free wristlet… which I immediately liked and commented on. That started a conversation with @hkellydesigns, aka Heidi, she was an open book! Heidi is a breast cancer survivor and her story really struck me. Which is why I asked her to share her inspiring story here.

How were you diagnosed?

I actually saw a dent. I originally thought it was a bruise and when it did not go away I started to suspect something was wrong. It took me a couple of months to build up the courage to go to the doctor and when I did she sent me straight to get a mammogram and ultra sound that day. That day we found out it was a tumor and then about a week later we found out that it was positive for breast cancer from the biopsy. I was 38 years old and no history in the family!

You were diagnosed with cancer, and decided to start a business?

HKelly designs was born from me having breast cancer. When I was feeling good enough I would sew and people were always complimenting me on my bags. One day my husband said why don’t we make this a business and have a go at it and so here we are. I have been through 2 rounds of breast cancer, 4 chemo rounds and over a month of radiation and I’m still standing, still making purses and really just loving life!

How is your health now?

I am doing well now. I actually had it come back a second time on the scar and since we did not do chemo and radiation the first time, we did do it the second time.  The first time I only did a double mastectomy and meds.

Heidi of HKelly Designs
Heidi of HKelly Designs

I love your attitude and I’m so glad you are doing well! Now for the fun stuff… tell everyone about that adorable wristlet that caught my eye.

This wristlet is the perfect accessory for hands free fun! You never have to put it down, it’s basically a bracelet with room for your phone, lip gloss, keys and of course your cash, credit card and license. Take pics with your phone… it’s there on your wrist, dance the night away… it’s there on your wrist, party it up at a concert… it’s there on your wrist!!! For you travelers, your passport will fit right in there!

There are currently 3 styles in the Black Label, black, brown and gray. The really fun part about the bag is the surprise interior fabric, no two are the same! I have been considering adding a completely customizable one for those who want something crazy original, that will include a consultation via phone or email and an upcharge.

The wristlet in black, brown or gray
The wristlet in black, brown or gray

I’d love to offer your readers $10 off on the wristlet. Use coupon code KAS10, it’s good until Novmeber 21st.

We also have a Breast Cancer Awareness Shop on the site, a portion of the sale of every Gemma bag to a Breast Cancer Charity: Young Survival Coalition. This group works wonders for women who are diagnosed under the age of 40.

Where can people find you?

First, my website all my products are available there. I also have a blog on the site and I talk a lot about fun and funky things as well as life with cancer. I also spend quite a bit of time on Facebook.
 I am on TwitterPeriscope and YouTube too!
Lastly, since my blog is all about trying new things… What’s something that you would like to try?
I guess it would be travel everywhere. Lol. I love to travel and have been to many places but there are so many more. My biggest is Paris in the Spring time, I did go in winter once but would love to see it in the spring and get all the way up the Eiffel Tower. Also on the list is the Alaskan Cruise. I have never been on a cruise and my husband, father in law and I are headed to one this spring. Cannot wait! I would love to travel the world and see everything!
 I wanted to share Heidi’s story, and cute bags, because I love that she was inspired by her diagnosis. A cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of the world… it could be the beginning of something you were always to afraid to try. Heidi fought like crazy for her life and created a business for herself. So whatever it is that you want to do, but are scared to try… do it! Life is short, so don’t wait!!
This was the image that grabbed my attention on IG
This was the image that grabbed my attention on IG
The Perfect Wristlet in Gray $45
The Perfect Wristlet in Gray $45
Each of HKelly Designs bags has a unique lining. I just love this one!!
Each of HKelly Designs bags has a unique lining. I just love this one!!
On my way to Costco with 3 kids... thank goodness for free hands! The bag easily fit my phone, keys, cards and a lip gloss.
On my way to Costco with 3 kids… thank goodness for free hands! The bag easily fit my phone, keys, cards and a lip gloss.
p.s. I wanted to get pics of the wristlet at Costco with the kids… but I was at Costco WITH 3 kids!!! It wasn’t happening!! Let me know if you purchase a wristlet and what you think! I think its a lovely gift idea for the upcoming holidays 😉




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