There was no doubt about it, I was destined to be a part of the glamourous world of fashion. Since I could remember, I found the world of style and fashion to be…well like…chocolate!! As a little girl, I would spend countless hours in my mother’s closet playing dress-up. The weekend just wouldn’t seem complete unless she and I spent a few hours in the clothing stores. As the years went on, my passion seemed to flourish. When it came time to select a college, it was no surprise when I chose to attend the prestigious Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, California.
The school was just as exciting as I expected. I was, in essence, living out a fantasy! Afterall, whom wouldn’t enjoy an education centered around the world of clothing. On weekends, several of my fellow classmates would hit the local malls and vintage shops for that special "something" or the latest "find." While others partied in night clubs on the weekends; we partied in the store dressing rooms!
After graduation, with all of my gained knowledge on my chosen career; I made the first big leap into the world of style and applied to work at one of the top clothing stores. My life was heaven on earth…living at home with Mom and Dad and spending my entire paycheck on what else…clothing!
Fast forward several years…
I met and fell in love with my now husband and then shortly thereafter, my entire world came crashing down. With the hope of a new future with my husband, came the devistating news that my beautiful mother had terminal pancreatic cancer. Within 6 months of her diagnoses…she was gone. No longer did I feel hopeful for the future. I found myself sinking deeper into a depression that required the love and support of family, friends and my faith.
I suppose you’re wondering what makes my story so different from the other thousands of persons that have lost loved ones to cancer. Perhaps that part of my story isn’t any different. We have all experienced the hurt, pain and loneliness associated with cancer. However, the summer of 2008 is where my life had begun, yet, once again.
In the summer of 2008, I was working as the fashion & style columnist for a newspaper. I was planning an event that would celebrate the fabulous lives of women in their 40’s. My life consisted of fashion shows, store and art gallery openings, invitations to visit new spas and resorts. Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Then one summer afternoon, I phoned my sister and began to express to her my desire to become more. I told her that I didn’t find the world of fashion to be as exciting as it once was. I remember my sister asking me, "So, what do you want to do?" With that simple question came a flow on inspiration that could nolonger be contained. I said, "I want to comfort women with cancer. I remember when Mommy was sick, I would pamper her and make her feel pretty. I wish I could package what I did for Mom and give it to other women." As we continued our phone conversation, I became engulfed with an overwhelming desire to proceed forward with the idea of supporting female cancer patients.
As we ended our talk, I was so exciting about this new direction. Within months, I had set the ground work for what is now known as A Daughter’s Heart, Inc. a California not-for-profit corporation. The goal and purpose of A Daughter’s Heart is to comfort and encourage women that are fighting cancer. We deliver a Love Pouch directly to these beautiful women while they are in the hospital. Each Love Pouch contains items that my mother found to be uplifting during her journey; and that made her feel beautiful. As I followed the path with prayer and the support from friends and family, by April 2009, I had my first hospital willing to receive the support of A Daughter’s Heart, Inc. Now, every month, many women receive this gift as a token of love. I sincerely believe that it provides them with a since of comfort and hope.
I left my work in the fashion world to pursue A Daughter’s Heart with the fervancy that it so deserves. Do I regret my decision? No, not in the least. Every time I walk into the hospital room of one of these beautiful women, I believe that my heart touches them. No handbag can compare to that feeling!