Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shades of Awareness Jewelry Giveaway!!!

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.

Let's get those entries rolling, everyone, and I will post the winner on March 15th. Finally, I want to send a huge thank you to Michelle; please keep up your important work!



  1. Entry #1:
    A) Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Dark Purple Amethyst Bracelet--gorgeous
    B) Give it to a friend who lost a loved one to pancreatic cancer
    C) Wearing something that beautiful will have people asking questions and thus spread awareness. I know I get plenty of question on my simple “Stand Tall” bracelet.

    For Entry #2:


    Final Entry:
    A) this was the first post that resonated with me to the point that I decided to comment:

    B) More stories of silver linings!

  2. I love the Parkinsons awareness freshwater pearl bracelet! My papa had parkinsons and I am a strong supporter of research and stem cell research! Great post, Maya!

  3. This makes me so happy!

    #1. I love the Rose Quartz & Hematite, Heart Chakra Balance Bracelet.
    #2: If I won, I would send this to my future sister in law...she's in need of some good energy right now!
    #3. I love Shades of Awareness because it gives people a beautiful way to show off their beliefs.

    --Olivia, Lovely at Your Side

  4. I'm already a Facebook fan!

    I would love to see more interviews...my favorite post was the inspiring interview with your professor.

    Keep up the amazing work, we love you!

  5. Ah they are all so beautiful!

    I'd choose the custom swarovski awareness bracelet, then the three colours would be: 'lyme green' for Celiac, green for depression, and dark blue for arthritis. I'd wear it knowing I'm raising awareness for conditions that have affected those very close to me.

    Amazing work Michelle, and thanks Maya for showing it to us:-)

  6. What a beautiful woman and such a wonderful concept! I can't wait to purchase items from her (I can't pick just one!) I love her chain bracelets and bead bracelets most, but the healing bracelets are pretty awesome too! I think what I love most about her jewelry is that it's finally a fashionable medical accessory. As a young adult with multiple chronic illnesses I'm constantly on the lookout for cute things that either help me to make a statement or cute things that are necessary in my life (pillboxes, etc).

    I "liked" her business on facebook and I now subscribe to her blog.

    To piggyback on some things I've said in my comment, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE if you could post and/or link cute things that are specific to chronic illnesses (such as t-shirts, bags, jewelry etc) and things that those of us with chronic illnesses would use/make our lives easier (pillboxes, comfortable clothes, books, tips to ease pain, etc)

    Thanks for this amazing opportunity to win, but moreso I want to thank you for allowing me to make these suggestions! =)

    Jenn Z

  7. A) This is a tough one, I love the Arthritis Sodalite bracelet, the Fibromyalgia Sodalite bracelet, and the crown chakra bracelets in both red sesame and lavender cape amethyst. I couldn't decide between the four of those, lol
    B) Wear it with pride and look down at it as a reminder that others walk this path every day too
    C) It is a lovely project to raise awareness and make something that lets people feel better(by feeling fancy :) )

  8. 1a -- I have two favorites: The gemstone healing chakra meditation bookmark for starters. Besides being an avid reader, I've been reading into chakra healing in terms of my life in order to produce positive change. It's great to see how Michelle is combining two of my interests in a creative way. The second is the anorexia, bulimia, gastric cancer awareness beaded bracelet. As a recovering anorexic, I'm proud to see that Michelle is shedding light on this disease that consumes so many people every day.

    1b -- Wear it proudly. :)

    1c -- I'm a big supporter of the arts and especially art that is also a physical representation of important causes.

    2 -- I liked Shades of Awareness on Facebook.

    3a –- The article that caught my attention to your blog way back when was your “The Spoon Theory” blog on trying to explain in a tangible way how Spondylitis makes you feel in addition to seeing this metric as an embodiment of strength and opportunity.

    3b -- Besides your personal blogs, articles on self-help and awareness are always appreciated as well as other success stories as well.

    Keep up the great work, Maya. :)

    Angie P.

  9. 1. http://lovingwithchronicillness.blogspot.com/2010/11/beautiful-reminder-ellys-poem.html

    I love her poem.