When one thinks of celebration jewelry, we usually think of weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. When you think of jewelry tied to a cause like breast cancer, pink ribbons pinned to a lapel for solidarity and awareness come to mind. But for Sue Paist, the experience she shared when her friend Pam Donelly was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2013 presented an opportunity for a piece of jewelry that was not available – something that celebrated cancer survivors, and to be worn by cancer survivors.
To commemorate that bond these friends shared through Donelly’s illness, as well as further solidify their friendship of nearly 20 years, Paist, a Wheaton resident, decided to design a jewelry collection in honor of her friend and survivor.
“Pam wanted a special piece of jewelry that would celebrate her survival,” says Paist. “It was this emotional and iconic ring that inspired the collection we have today.”
In partnership with Charles & Colvard®, the Survivor Collection®, a series of special, three-stone rings and pendants, featuring two Forever Brilliant® and one pink moissanite gem, were created. The placement of the gems symbolizes the Survivor’s three-part journey – the first clear stone representing life before cancer, the pink stone representing life with cancer, and the second clear stone representing life cleared of cancer.
“We partnered with the Women Survivors Alliance and launched the collection last August at the National Women’s Survival convention. I was so amazed and inspired by these other survivors stories,” Paist says. “These women were so happy and spirited, that it really brought home for me the fact that cancer does not have to change your life, it just changes its direction. Every piece of the survivor collection comes with a card encouraging women to share their stories at the Women Survivors Alliance website.”
The collection is set to expand in various styles as they continue growing its retail reach. The price of each piece will vary depending on choices of gold or silver, as well as the type of setting. “Honestly, the best is yet to come,” Paist says, “and with the Survivor Collection®, you can be forever brilliant.”
Hear more about about the Survivor Collection® and its inspiration in the video below: