Today we are launching Band Together! Starting today, we will choose one week and one organization to receive 10% of ALL purchases made on our website! This week, we are excited to ‘Band Together’ for the Rachel Lynn Henley Foundation.
Rachel Henley's mom shared with us her inspiring and courageous story:
"In September of 2007, Rachel Lynn Henley was a freshman in high school, thriving in her new school as a great student and a strong and talented athlete. An avid soccer player, she decided to spread her wings and try out for the cheerleading team too. After making the team she would often leave one practice for the other, seemingly changing her persona on the short car ride between the soccer field and the cheer gym - from fierce to vivacious, in the blink of an eye. All was so good in her world. Then in November, at fourteen years old, Rachel's busy, happy life was turned inside-out with a cancer diagnosis. Synovial sarcoma is a rare soft tissue cancer that was found in her shoulder. Seven months of chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries followed before she was found to be cancer free in the summer of 2008.
For the next few years, life seemed to get back to normal. Rachel finished high school, continuing competitive cheer, soccer and track along the way. She started college and continued to work toward achieving her goals. Then in the spring of 2012, our family's worst nightmare came true when we learned that her cancer had returned with a vengeance. The cancer was now in her lungs and eventually also in an area near her liver. Three years of continual chemotherapy followed, along with radiation and several surgeries. Rachel endured all of this with her beautiful smile and positive spirit intact. She chose to live her life to its fullest and encourage others to do the same. Instead of turning inward and feeling sorry for herself, she made the decision to make a positive difference in the world. She wanted to give back as so many others had done for her. Rachel's battle ended on June 2, 2015, but she continues to inspire so many, every day.
Right after her original diagnosis in 2007, Rachel and her friends and family began working on "Team Henley" to raise money for the American Cancer Society. In 2015, Rachel realized that she wanted to start her own foundation so she would be able to focus her team's fundraising efforts on pediatric cancer research as well as support for groups that brought happiness to kids and families fighting this difficult fight. And so began the Rachel Lynn Henley Foundation.
When Rachel talked about her dreams for her foundation, one of the first groups she wanted to help was Headbands of Hope. She had found this amazing company through Instagram and felt so blessed when they sent her some of their amazing headbands. Rachel loved how these beautiful headbands made her feel and was so touched by the pictures of all of the other kids who received these headbands that had been made with so much love. She wanted to do what she could to support their work. After the Rachel Lynn Henley Foundation was created, Headbands of Hope was among the first groups that we reached out to to see how we could support them. We were so honored when they instead wanted to help us through this partnership and by creating a ladybug headband in Rachel's honor,
Ladybugs were always a symbol to Rachel of good luck and hope. It started on the day of her diagnosis in November 2007 when we found a ladybug crawling across the floor in her windowless examination room, inside the clinic, inside Seattle Children's Hospital. Since then, we found ladybugs often, and they always brought a smile to Rachel's face. Traditionally, ladybugs have been seen as messengers of delight and promise, and they can be a reminder to us to release our worries, live our best lives and follow our dreams. This was exactly how Rachel lived. Since Rachel passed away, many of her family and friends have seen ladybugs, sometimes in the strangest of times and places, and these sightings have brought tears but also smiles and sense of peace."
In Rachel's honor, we ask that if you see any ladybugs, please take a moment to think of Rachel and honor her by remembering to live your best life and follow your dreams. You can also use it as a reminder to pass that feeling on to others with a smile, and the sharing of love and encouragement.
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