SNEAK PEAK!

Hi All! Eric and I have been busily redesigning a few pieces (and in the process of adding more items!) to our Cancer Canknot Jewelry Collection! We are excited to share a sneak peak of our updated design of the horizontal necklace with you all. The pictures show the design in rose gold and sterling silver. This design will be available for purchase soon! Please leave us a comment on how your like the new design and if there are any other pieces you would like to see in our collection. As always, thank you for the love and support! #CANCERCANKNOT

Eric and Anna – xoxo

Horizontal Necklace – Rose Gold
Horizontal Necklace – Sterling Silver
Necklace – Rose Gold
Necklace – Sterling Silver

 

Cheers to Unpredictability – Happy New Year!

So many times in the first 6 days of the New Year, I have mumbled to myself that I can’t believe it is already 2017 – as I am sure many of you have done as well. Time sure does fly, and what a difference a year makes. As I think about the past year, I also find myself wondering what will be different as I go into 2018 – and the funny thing is, you really don’t know. None of us can predict what will happen in the future or even the path that life will take us on. As someone who is a planner, this unpredictability can be unsettling. I am a person that likes to be five steps ahead, plan my every move and have alternative paths laid out for various circumstances depending on the outcome. It seems just when I think I have it figured out, this thing called ‘life’ happens and can totally throw you off-course.

We first learned of this unpredictability eight years ago when Bryce was born. As I went into 2008, I had our whole life planned. We designed the baby room (because of course we knew we were having a boy – I mean I am a planner after all!), I had outfits picked out, bottles washed, car-seat in the car – things were planned – perfectly. After he was born, we were all going to come home together as a perfect little family. Then life happened. Two days after he was born, he was rushed to the NICU in another hospital and was soon diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. All the dreams and plans I had felt crushed when I saw the little guy go through surgery at a few days old to correct his bowel disease. The first year of his life was hard on many people and so heartbreaking as a first time parent. That definitely wasn’t what I planned.

However, I think my most unpredictable moment came five years ago when Eric was diagnosed with grade 4 glioblastoma brain cancer. When we started 2011, never in my wildest dreams could I have thought someone I love was going to be diagnosed with cancer – let alone, brain cancer. For the first few months after his diagnosis, there wasn’t planning, it was just living in the moment, because every moment mattered.

Eric and I always say, we truly believe cancer has given us more than what it has taken away. Because of our unpredictability we live life differently. Recently at work I was asked to put together a presentation, and part of it had to include a little bit about myself and what my ‘beliefs’ are. Being in HR, some of the obvious ones came to mind with having empathy, having a purpose/goal, strengthen people around you, however, the most important belief I have is to LIVE LIFE. If not been for what our family has experienced these past 8 years, I am not sure I would have included that as a belief, but it is so important for every single one of us to do, because you never know when circumstances are going to change. It is important to not sweat the small stuff, because in reality – it is all small stuff.

It is hard to think that you are only given things in life that you can handle, but it is true. And while I am not someone, and probably never will be someone who can just ‘wing-it’, there is a portion of me that has to trust in the path that life will take me on.

There definitely is a power to positive thinking and envisioning what you want to happen, but if that isn’t what occurs you need to go with it and course-correct, as likely that wasn’t the intended path to take in the first place… who knows, maybe your ‘misstep’  is the path to becoming an author, or a jewelry designer or a motivational speaker…no one really knows…

If someone would have told me 10 years ago that I would have a child born with medical complications, a husband that was diagnosed with brain cancer or that I would be able to add, blogger, author, or jewelry designer to my resume, I would have told them they were crazy. That wasn’t what I planned!

While many of you have already set your New Year’s resolution, I ask for you to consider one more:  Embrace the Unpredictable…

-Anna xoxo

Throw Back Thursday

12212011_932 - CopyThis is where it all started, Bear Hugging and Cancer Crushing. When we talk about the inspiration behind our children’s book, this is where it began. When Eric didn’t feel well, he would always ask Bryce for a Bear Hug, and inevitably it would make Eric feel better.

This picture was taken right after Eric had his brain surgery. Boy, does this photo bring back memories….some good and some not so good. However, no matter how tough the times got and how far our emotions wanted to bring us down, the important thing is we made it together.

On December 20th of this year, it will be four years since Eric’s diagnosis of grade 4 glioblastoma brain cancer, with a tumor the size of a baseball in his frontal lobe. Having been given a 6-12 month prognosis, we cherish every day, let alone every year that passes.

And so as the story goes….Cancer just means Daddy needs more of my bear hugs to help make him stronger, so he can be here on earth with me a lot longer!

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Cancer Canknot Stop You From Saying “I Do”

Eric and I have the opportunity to share our Cancer Canknot story with many people, and we always love it when people have an opportunity to share their story with us.

We are always impressed by the strength and resiliency that each story tells, however one conversation we had recently with a survivor really tugged at our heart-strings.

Eric and I were at an event that Cancer Canknot was a part of and a woman walked up to our booth. Usually Eric or I will try to tell the person a little bit about Cancer Canknot and how it got started, but this person already knew who we were….she proceeded to tell us that she had recently been diagnosed with cancer. Previous to her diagnosis she was engaged to be married and when she got the diagnosis, they quickly tied the knot. Having seen the story behind Cancer Canknot in the local news, and knowing of the Cancer Canknot Jewelry, she now has a Cancer Canknot Ring as her wedding band. Just Amazing. Love[1]

When Eric and I came up with the idea for Cancer Canknot, we couldn’t imagine that we’d inspire these types of stories to exist. It still amazes us  how each person wearing a piece of our jewelry has made Cancer Canknot their own. In this woman’s case, Cancer Canknot Stop You From Saying “I Do.” Beautiful.

*NEW* Cancer Canknot Shirts To Support Cancer Research

PO5195846-frontblackThank you to all of you who have made the books and the jewelry  successful in just a few short months. We are excited to announce that we’ve designed and created another way to help support cancer research.  We have started a Cancer Canknot T-Shirt Booster campaign where 100% of the profits will be donated to support cancer research.  We have loved to see so many  necklaces and bracelets out there with the knotted ribbon and want to thank you for helping us spread the word.

We feel the T-Shirts campaign can now do the same and can reach an even broader base.

In purchasing a shirt, you are showing your support not only for our family but for that family member or friend that has been affected in your life.

Wear this shirt to support your Mother or Father, your Grandmother or Grandfather. Wear this shirt for your Son or Daughter or your Brother or Sister.  Wear this shirt for your Aunt, your Uncle, your Nephew or Niece. Wear this shirt for Yourself.

Whether they are still fighting, are in remission, or have unfortunately passed on, wear this shirt with pride and as a symbol of support for your loved ones that have been affected.

At the end of the day, Cancer CANKNOT takeaway our LOVE, our HOPE or our MEMORIES.

I am a proud to wear the logo on my chest for myself as a survivor and for all of the people who have supported me over the last three years. When you see me wearing my shirt, please take it as a personal “Thank You” for all of your support.

I would personally love to see all of those who have supported me and those who are supporting others through the difficult process wearing the shirts proudly too.  Most of all, I would love to see other SURVIVORs and their own support groups wearing the logo and proving another one of the many things Cancer Canknot do.

The campaign runs through FEBRUARY 1st. I encourage everyone to visit the site at the following link and purchase your shirt directly through our booster.

www.booster.com/cancercanknot 

We have set a goal of selling 50 shirts by the end of the campaign and I sincerely feel that we can accomplish and even exceed this target. The best part about the campaign is that 100% of EVERY DOLLAR OF PROFIT WILL BE GOING TO FUND CANCER RESEARCH.

Thanks again for all of the support and wear your shirt proudly knowing that you supported the cause!

Our Inspiration

OUR INSPIRATION…..Three years ago our world was turned upside down when Eric was diagnosed with grade 4 glioblastoma brain cancer. As a healthy 29 year old male, a loving husband and father to an amazing little boy – the news of the words “CANCER” seemed so far from the truth.

Since the day that Eric was diagnosed, we knew there had to be a greater plan as to why we were dealt this deck of cards and why we were chosen to battle such a monstrous disease. Then, one day we had an idea; an idea on how to pay it forward.  We had an idea to write a children’s book for families affected by cancer.  We have also created a jewelry line with a local jeweler who fell in love with our story and wanted to be a part of it.

OUR STORY BEHIND THE BOOK….It all goes back to the first thought that crosses your mind when you are given such devastating news; your child. At the time of the diagnosis we were the parents of a 3 year old boy and much of our time was spent reading children’s books to him. When you hear news as devastating as cancer you think; “How are we going to explain it? Maybe we don’t say anything?”

We have written a lighthearted rhyming children’s book, Bear Hugging and Cancer Crushing, to help explain to a child what cancer means. Children’s books are amazing and almost always filled with life’s lessons told in a way that a child can understand.  Children have many questions when they learn of a parent’s diagnosis, and everyone needs to find strength through what can be a trying time. Our son gave us strength in the best way he knew how, his bear hugs, which inspired this book. With so many people affected by cancer and many of those being parents, this book can benefit countless families – as it has our own.

ABOUT THE JEWELRY….Our Cancer CanknotTM Jewelry is custom designed to look like a cancer ribbon with a knot in the middle of the ribbon to symbolize strength and be a reminder of everything that Cancer CanknotTM do. When we approached Perrywinkles Fine Jewelry in downtown Burlington, Vermont they were inspired by our story and immediately stood behind the idea. From there, our partnership was formed.

We brought our design ideas to Perrywinkles and they were able to refine the jewelry pieces, so they were functional and most importantly…beautiful. Perrywinkles’ exclusively produces and sells all of the jewelry pieces.  We are very proud of our creation. Whether you are a survivor, a person battling cancer or a part of the support system for the person fighting the disease, you can wear this jewelry as an unspoken word to how you have been affected by cancer and what it canknot do.

We hope our life experience inspires many other families in need of hope.

Anna and Eric Gilcris