You are not alone. Adam's story.
When we launch a collection we never know what to expect. We never know who is going to buy the pieces and we never know who exactly will benefit from the initiative we are funding. Just like the Magnolia Collection, the Basic Collection took an unexpected turn.
The Basic Collection was curated with the mission to ensure that no one felt alone through their cancer diagnosis but we also wanted to provide basic needs for cancer patients recently diagnosed. The initiative was inspired by my amazing friend Justin Levenson who is a real life superhero and survivor of brain cancer. His journey is unbelievable and he is using his voice to help others who are not only battling cancer but who need mindfulness in their life.
Through my work in Africa and with HIV/AIDS, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about immunity. I also became extremely connected in the wellness space. When a person is diagnosed with cancer there are many decisions that they need to make and in some instances depending on how far along the cancer is, they may only have a few days to decide what to do.
With all of this in mind, we launched the collection and it was a huge success. The comfy pieces were reminders to feel comforted through your diagnosis. As we started to sell out of our pieces, I started to try to find the right organization to partner with. But something happened- I received a phone call from a close friend that Adam had an immediate colon cancer diagnosis.
Adam and I had not spoken to each other for almost 2 years. We distanced ourselves from each other for none other than stubborn reasons. So if there was any time to mend our friendship, now was the time. When I called him, the first thing I said was “I am so sorry it’s taken this long to reach out to you and I hate that it’s under these circumstances but I want to offer some advice and help you as you probably have to make decisions pretty quickly.” He responded with eagerness and said that he wanted to hear anything and everything. I gave him some immediate options and asked if he could trust me to get all of the necessary info for the best treatment plan along with the best team.
As a serial problem solver, this was, at the moment, the biggest problem solving endeavor I would ever take on. Had it not been for the maternity ward in Africa that gave me access to curable treatments, or the people that I met along the way while living in California, I would not have been equipped to be able to help him with his basic needs. Because for Adam, he had 2 days to decide what he needed to do. His cancer was so far along and it had already spread.
I got off of the phone and went into complete pyscho mode (tell me I am not alone in this). Which any one of you that has worked with me you know that I am relentless. I do not give up. My first phone call went to my amazing friend Sloane Scott who has beat cancer several times. She is one of the smartest humans I know and coincidentally she started a company to help people through their recent cancer diagnosis.
I connected both of them and set up a meeting within 24 hours. From that point- Adam started his cancer journey. Adam lived much longer than anyone in his situation would have. He fought really hard and he never gave up. Every conversation I had with Adam he would not only thank me for personally helping him but he would tell me how proud of me he was for building a company that is able to help others. He told me how much he admired me and how much he loved and respected me.
A few months ago Adam lost his battle with cancer. I’ve experienced a lot of loss In my life and inevitably when you help people with the greatest need, not all will survive.
There is a powerful quote that says:
You have not lived until you have helped someone who can never repay you.
This quote is a reminder that success is different for everyone. House of Darlings is successful because we help people when they have lost all hope. We help people who need someone to believe in them. We help save lives.
To some, our clothes might just be a thread, but to me we are a movement. We inspire others to believe that anything is possible.