My-Storytellers is not just a company - We are a family, and for the last 15 years we have been working together to help bring hope and healing to the cancer community by creating and growing the Conquer Cancer Coalition, a grass roots non profit helping families traveling the cancer journey by raising one dollar, and sharing one story, at a time. We know how lucky we are to be working together and doing something we love. We also know how important it is, and how good it feels to give back. It's the reason we created the 'Conquer Cancer' license plate in Massachusetts and the Cancer Garden of Hope on Boston City Hall Plaza. Doing good is why we are driven to make a difference, and My-Storytellers has given us a new avenue to pursue that passion. It also adds another special chapter to our story,
which we pick up just twelve short years ago...
He could tell we were in a state of shock, especially when my Mom responded, 'Michael, you're 53, you're not gonna die.' So he repeated it again, and with his cool demeanor and warm heart he somehow took that moment to make us feel better. Michael had just been diagnosed with late stage lung cancer, and the prognosis was bleak. But in the eye of the storm, the only thing that mattered to him, and to us, were the people he loved and stories he cherished. He received the most compassionate care at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and despite the incredible efforts by his entire medical team, the cancer was just too much. Four months after assuring us he had led a blessed life, we knew how much he meant it, and it was time to kiss him goodbye.
Very soon after that cold, fateful January morning, We were driving together in Boston like we had so many times with Michael. Except instead of noticing the things we normally noticed from the passenger seats, we all looked at the car stopped in front of us in traffic with it's New Jersey 'Conquer Cancer' license plate. 'Why doesn't Massachusetts have one of those,' I remember my Mom asking. After returning home, she called New Jersey and found out they had raised over two million dollars for cancer research. At that point we knew we could help create a 'Conquer 'Cancer' license plate for Massachusetts, and that's when we knew we were driven to make a difference. Only a couple of months after Michael drew his last breath, our newly formed 'Conquer Cancer Coalition of Massachusetts' non-profit drew it's first. Now there are thousands of 'Conquer Cancer' plates on the road, with a story behind each one.
The day of Michael's funeral, our Rabbi told a story about three village elders discussing the worst thing that can happen to someone. The first said, 'to lose a parent, surely one can never be prepared to let go of the ones who raised them.' The three nodded their heads in agreement, each to a sentiment of their own parents. Then the second said, 'to lose a child, truly that is an unspeakable loss.' With a somber nod, they remembered the quiet courage of a little girl in town, and the tree that now grows in her memory. The third quietly said, 'to be forgotten, surely that is the worst. Nobody should every be forgotten.' That is why we set out to create the Cancer Garden of Hope on Boston City Hall Plaza and almost seven years later the garden is filled with flowers, sculptures, gazebo, and most importantly over 1,300 bricks and plaques that all tell a story. At the Cancer Garden of Hope, nobody is ever forgotten, and that is why we say 'Hope grows here, rain or shine, 365 days a year.
We are proud to make My-Storytellers the next chapter in our book. In many ways, it is an extension of how we have worked together over the last decade to establish the 'Conquer Cancer' License Plate, and create the Cancer Garden of Hope. We set out to handcraft the highest quality keychain and the most meaningful tokens of kindness you can find anywhere, and ended up creating our own special magnetic keychain and interchangeable Storycoins. It has already been a fulfilling and rewarding journey, and we are still on a mission to do good. We can hear Michael cheering us on, and we always talk about the people, moments that we cherish - because in the end, it's all about the stories.