Making a difference - one bracelet at a time

Dawn Schwartz, who underwent breast surgery in 2015 at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., now provides strength, hope and support to other breast cancer patients through three boutiques titled “1 Happy Girl” that she runs alongside her daughter, Paige. After recovering from surgery in September of 2015, Dawn and her daughter decided they wanted to find a way to give something meaningful to patients. “I remember how even the smallest things could mean so much to me,” says Dawn. “I wanted to find a way to give someone the same support and strength that I had felt during my journey.” As a result, the duo decided to launch a special bracelet in their stores. Each bracelet is engraved with a special message. One reads, “With God, all things are possible.” Every time a customer purchases one of these bracelets, they are asked to sign their name to an inspiring note. This note is then attached to a new bracelet, which is given to a patient at Advocate Christ. The note reads: “Stay strong and remember…an arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So, when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep going. Here is a daily reminder that you are beautiful, strong and can face anything! To a year of being happy and healthy. This bracelet was donated with love from –  ______________ ” Every year, Dawn and Paige try to beat their goal of bracelet donations. In 2016 alone, they donated over 350 bracelets to patients at Advocate Christ. Patrice Stephens, a breast nurse navigator at Advocate Christ says, “Patients are always moved to receive a bracelet from someone they’ve never even met before. It’s inspiring to see the amount of kindness people can have for one another.” This year, Dawn and Paige have decided to launch a new necklace for patients instead of the bracelets. The necklace will feature a peace sign design and promote “peace of mind.” They’re hoping to donate 500 necklaces this year. If you’re wondering where you can buy one of these necklaces to help breast cancer patients and help Dawn and Paige meet their goal, 1 Happy Girl is hosting a benefit on October 12 from 6 pm-9 pm at their New Lenox location – 1421 E. Lincoln Hwy. 10 percent of all items purchased during the benefit will go towards purchasing more necklaces for patients. All customers will also be entered in a raffle to win prizes from local restaurants and businesses. Our Breast Health Assessment estimates your five-year and lifetime risks of developing breast cancer.