I first heard about Shades of Awareness Jewelry last month when my friends (Olivia and Jenny) hosted a giveaway from this store on their blog, Lovely At Your Side. Shades of Awareness Jewelry was developed by Michelle Miller-Anderson: a wife, a mother, a talented artist, and a Lyme disease patient (among many other things). When I read about the concept behind her business - to help patients take pride in their medical struggles and to raise awareness for various illnesses - I thought it was brilliant! I immediately set my sights on the Arthritis Awareness bracelet...not only because I have Arthritis, but because I love the deep blue color of the beads (a color that stands for many others diagnoses in addition to arthritis).
After swooning over her work, I got in touch with Michelle herself and asked if she'd be interested in participating in another giveaway for my readers. She was excited about it! Thus, I present to you...
* You could win a bracelet of your choice!*
Even if you don't live with chronic illness, a bracelet would go a long way in showing your support for a sick friend or family member. This giveaway will end on March 15th (3 weeks from today) and, on that day, all entries will be plugged into a randomizer to select the winner - the only 100% fair method I have. The news gets better: each participant has an opportunity to enter this giveaway three times!
For Entry #1:
1) Simply head on over to Shades of Awareness Jewelry on Etsy.com and take a look around the shop. Then leave a comment on this post answering one or more of these three questions:
A) What is your favorite item on the site and why?
B) What would you do with the prize if you were to win?
C) Why do you like the idea for Shades of Awareness?
For Entry #2:
1) Head over to Facebook and "like" Shades of Awareness on Facebook or, if you don't have Facebook, "Follow" the Shades of Awareness Blog. Don't forget to comment on this blog entry and tell me that you've done this!
For a 3rd and Final Entry:
Take a look around Loving With Chronic Illness and leave a comment on this post, answering one or both of these questions:
A) What has been your favorite post on Loving With Chronic Illness and why?
B) What would you like to see more or less of on Loving With Chronic Illness? (any advice you might have to better this blog would be fantastic)
And here is a little more about Michelle, the strong woman behind this fabulous store....
1) How did you develop the idea for Shades of Awareness Jewelry?
I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme in July 2010, at age 34. I had been sick for over 3 years, lost my job, and became depressed. When I finally knew what was wrong with me, I wanted a bracelet to wear. I thought that somehow it would make me feel better, like look at me, I know what's wrong with me...FINALLY! When I didn't find any that I really liked, I figured I would make myself one. That's when 'Shades of Awareness' was born. My goal is to let people know that they are not alone!
2) What has been the best or most fulfilled aspect of owning this business?
The most fulfilling part of 'Shades of Awareness' is knowing that I can make a difference, even if it's a small one.
3) What would you tell someone who has been newly diagnosed with your condition and/or a chronic illness in general?
I would tell someone who was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme that you need a support group, it is very easy to become overwhelmed and depressed. You need to connect with others with Lyme, even if just to compare notes...it makes you feel better and lets you know what to expect.
4) Please explain a bit how your condition affects you.Chronic Lyme never goes away, I have good days and bad days. When I'm good, I feel perfectly fine and when I have a flare up I am in constant pain. It seems to affect my shoulders, arms, and hands the most. My muscles burn and feel heavy. I get physically exhausted very easily, and there are days I want to spend the day in bed. My immune system is low, so the average cold makes my symptoms come back. It's a vicious circle. I think the hardest thing to deal with is the pain, because you can't get away from it.
5) What are 3 things you couldn't live without?My children, coffee, and the internet!
6) Where do you get your strength?I get my strength from my children and from my hubby - he's my rock!
7) If you could send one message to medical professionals around the world, what would it be?If I could send a message to the medical community it would be to pay attention and listen to your patients, understand that the patients know their symptoms better than a textbook. Lyme Disease hides.