Causes Close to Our Hearts: My Cousin’s Indiegogo Campaign

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causes close to our hearts

A decorating post seemed a little light considering it’s September 11th, so this seemed like a great time to talk to you about what my cousin is up to.

If you’ve been hanging out here for awhile, you might have read THIS post I wrote about my cousin, Stephanie, and her not-for-profit, myHeart, your Hands.  Here’s the quick background, although I encourage you to click through the links and read more:

Steph survived pediatric cancer when we were little–the only child in her clinical trial to do so.  The doctors blasted her chest with radiation and her fifty-pound body with chemo and cured her cancer, but killed her heart.  It failed her slowly over the years, until finally, at age 38, with a husband and just-turned-five-year-old son, she received a heart transplant at the Cleveland Clinic.

Steph's school picture during treatment

Steph’s school picture during treatment

I write all that in just a paragraph, but please believe me that it wasn’t that simple.  She said her goodbyes to her husband and son, and expected to see them again in heaven, but God intervened.

Steph, her surgeon, and her family post-transplant

Steph, her surgeon, and her family post-transplant

Her story is so miraculous and compelling that it seems obvious to me that God has a very special plan for her life.  As a former pediatric oncology nurse practitioner, Steph knows cancer treatment inside and out.  She also knows how woefully uneducated patients–and even medical professionals–are about the late effects of cancer therapies.  Unable to return to clinical practice after her transplant (she cannot be exposed to the germs in the hospital environment), she and her good friend, Judy Bode, founded myHeart, yourHands.  The purpose of their organization is education–of patients, and providers.

Me and Steph in June 2013

Now Stephanie and Judy are raising funds through Indiegogo to film a documentary called Second, Second Chance, that will be used as an educational tool for patients and providers.  The late effects of cancer treatment are not rare, and many of them are preventable.

I know there’s a genuine need for this type of education because, as some of you know, I am a former oncology and hospice nurse.  While I’ve been out of clinical practice for quite a few years, I can tell you that I learned absolutely nothing about the late effects of cancer treatment in my bachelor’s program, my master’s program, or at the bedside.  While a few patients returned to us years later suffering from secondary malignancies, there was no thought as to prevention.  There IS a need.

So, whether you have one dollar or a hundred to spare, would you please consider whether this is a project you feel led to support?  I know that money is tight for lots of families right now, but I also know that we all have been touched by cancer and its life-long aftereffects.

Just so you know, we at 11 Magnolia Lane are putting our money where our mouths are; I am contributing two design consultation sessions to donors who give $250 or more.

If you’re not financially able to contribute, would you consider sharing this post with your social media network?  The more people we touch, the better!

Click HERE to read about their Indiegogo campaign, and thanks for stopping by.



  1. Carolyn Barnes Wells says

    Dear 11 Magnolia Place, I was touched by this post so much. I presently do not have any amount of money to contribute but hopefully I will be able to send a small amount soon. I am a breast cancer survivor 6 yrs now. I am now watching my 29 year old nephew battle Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma.On PET Scan it s basically all over.It’s in his hips and back.We are a praying family (taught by my mother) and believe that God is the ultimate healer. I feel strongly as does other people that God has a special plan for Wayne (my nephew) as he could reach so many young people and have a testimony regarding healing and deliverance from addiction. Please remember him in your prayers and hopefully i will be able to make some kind of donation before too long. By the way I love your page. Wonderful ideas, esp. the painted chair upholstery.

    • Carolyn, thank you for your kind reply. I will definitely add Wayne to my prayer list! Please don’t feel compelled to donate if you’re not able to. Stephanie can use your prayer support, too. I am so glad that you are a survivor!

  2. My thoughts & prayers with all of you! I will try & spread the word from one blogger to another. Best wishes.

    -Paige Musleh

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