When Michelle Collins and Kayla DeRoche were undergoing cancer treatment at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, there was one thing that could always get them out of their hospital rooms:
Mobile Color Bars™ hosted by Kendra Scott, an American accessories brand. At those events, patients could create free customized jewelry and accessories to lift their spirits and keep them feeling pretty, even as they lost their appetite or their hair.
“I would force myself to get out of my room and go,” says Michelle, who was just 14 when she was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. “My mom and I always had that fun little outing to get us out of that slump. We’d pick out stuff we both liked so we could share it.”
“I went to one the day before I was scheduled to have surgery,” adds Kayla, who was 17 when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. “I got some little stud earrings and wore them during the procedure. Mom got to pick out something, too, but I made her choose one I liked so I could wear it.”
Best friends bond over welcome distraction
The girls first met at an MD Anderson support group for teens with cancer, but became close friends during a trip to Disney World for pediatric patients. Their bond strengthened by going to the Mobile Color Bars™ together while receiving treatment.
“It was the highlight of my day to participate in it with my best friend, Kayla,” Michelle says. “It gave us something fun to do together. Even better, it got our minds off of what we were going through at the Children’s Cancer Hospital.”
Building childhood cancer awareness
Now, Kayla and Michelle are both out of the hospital and back at school.
But they recently had another chance to bond – this time at Kendra Scott headquarters in Austin, Texas. Kayla and Michelle were selected to serve as ambassadors for Kendra Scott’s National Giveback Day on Sept. 7, when Kendra Scott will donate 20% of its sales to benefit cancer research and pediatric programs at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital.
“I think it’s the coolest thing ever that we were the ones chosen,” Michelle says. “We get to share our stories with essentially the whole world because everyone knows Kendra Scott. And childhood cancer is kind of a left-out cancer. There’s very little funding and awareness. So to have the company doing this is so great. Everyone who participates is getting something and also giving something back.”
“My experience has been rough,” Kayla adds. “I had eight rounds of chemo, five weeks of radiation and a stem cell transplant, which was very difficult. It’s so important for companies like Kendra Scott to help raise money for teenagers with cancer. We need more research to make sure other kids like me don’t go through so much treatment.”
Kendra Scott customers can participate in National Giveback Day on Sept. 7 by shopping online at www.kendrascott.com or visiting one of Kendra Scott’s nearly 50 stores across the country.