Amazing Charity Brings 'Bling' & Sparkle to Breast Cancer Patients

earringsChristine Ferdinand has often been referred to as an angel in disguise. In 2008, the mom of three and jewelry store owner was inspired to start a charity that would lift the spirits of women who are battling cancer.

Since that day, Ferdinand and her foundation, Operation Bling, have provided 13,000 sterling silver cubic zirconium rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets to oncology patients free of charge. 

"These sparkling jewels bring pleasure and many smiles to those undergoing a cancer journey," Ferdinand explains.

The foundation "blings" (yes, Ferdinand insists that's a verb) both inpatient and outpatient women, men, who can choose watches or money clips, and pediatric oncology patients in hospitals throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

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New Jersey resident Carey, who at the age of 43 was diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer, shared that she was shocked when a social worker presented her with a black velvet box and told her to choose from an array of sparkling jewels.

I decided on earrings because I knew I would be losing my hair from the chemo treatments and I thought a beautiful pair of earrings would make me feel better about that. And they did!

When I wear my earrings, I don't think of the negatives of breast cancer, I think of the positives; people making a difference for others. I will have them forever.

For $45, purchasers choose a "Bling Gift" that they can personally give to a friend or a loved one or wear it themselves out of solidarity. All proceeds go to the Operation Bling Foundation to buy more baubles for future recipients.

Speaking of keeping up the good work, Ferdinand, who dreams of taking the charity nationwide, is asking for help in spreading the word. 

"My call to action, my huge request to everyone is to write to the Nightly News With Brian Williams for his 'Making a Difference' segment that he does each night," explains the philanthropist. "I am a firm believer that the more who know about Operation Bling Foundation, the more we will grow and the more cancer patients we will be able to bling and the more we will make a difference!"

After a "Bling Gift" is chosen by its recipient, it is presented in a faceted lucite box, enclosed in a white organza pouch along with the inspirational poem "What Cancer Cannot Do."

The foundation's website is filled with heartwarming and inspiring testimonials from those whose lives have been touched by Operation Bling and are immensely grateful for the spirit-lifting gift they received.

But for Ferdinand, hearing how much the gesture means to recipients makes her feel as if she is the one who has gained so much through this endeavor. 

Have you ever done anything to lift a cancer patient's spirits during treatment? 


Image via Operation Bling Foundation

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