Today I'm excited to introduce you to Amanda Heslinga, Crohn's fighter and the force behind Rocks With Sass jewelry. I found Amanda on Instagram a few weeks ago when I stumbled across some gorgeous photos of her jewelry and had to find out why they were tagged with #CCFA#Crohns#Colitis.
As it turns out, Amanda was diagnosed with Crohn's five years ago and has had a very bumpy ride...enduring countless needles and injections, 30+ nights in the hospital and a major surgery. But, she hasn't let that stop her. In remission now, she is fighting to build awareness and fund research for IBD. She is a Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis team captain and until October 11, is donating 100% of the proceeds from sales of her jewelry line to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. How cool is that? Check out the pictures below for a sampling of what her line is all about...pretty sassy, eh??
Amanda will be walking for Take Steps on October 11th with a team of friends and family and is very excited to report that her team has shattered their fundraising goal of $1500 and have already raised over $5000 for Take Steps. That money goes directly to funding patient programs and IBD research, so that is huge! Way to go Amanda!
I decided to feature Amanda this week because I love what she's doing and I think it's amazing how she has taken a really bad situation and turned it into something positive.
I asked Amanda to share a few thoughts about what keeps her so positive even when things get rough and this is what she had to say...
"I like to remind myself of two things:
1. I know for certain than I am stronger than my current situation.
2. The physical and emotional pain I am feeling now has a future purpose.
This fall will be 5 years since being diagnosed. I can say the past 5 years have taught me many things. Most importantly, I've come to realize that sometimes God puts you in circumstances that force you to surrender. For many years I was angry with God for my situation. I didn't understand why this was happening to me and wondered how all of this pain could be worth any plan he had in store for me. It wasn't until recently I've come to let go of my anger and confusion towards God.
As difficult as it sounds, I would encourage your readers to find the positive in the trials they face. Having a positive outlook on a difficult situation can make all the difference in the world."
If you'd like to help, you can support Amanda and help fund IBD research by visiting Rocks With Sass on Etsy and purchasing one (or more!) of her gorgeous, sassy pieces! Or, visit her team fundraising page to make a tax deductible donation. OR...keep reading to find out how you can enter to win a Rocks With Sass Crystal Pendant Necklace!
I absolutely fell in love with Amanda's necklaces and decided to buy a few for myself...how could I resist with the added incentive of the donation to the CCFA?? Here's the fun part...I bought one to give away to one of you! Just 'cause I can.
Wouldn't you love to win this 3-tiered crystal necklace?? The chains are mixed metal in bronze, gunmetal and silver and all together is about 25 1/2" long...perfect length to wear over tunics, turtles, t's...you name it.
Here's a closer look at the crystals. And did I mention that this little beauty will arrive to you perfectly packaged for gift giving (or for treating yourself!)
All you have to do to enter this giveaway is help spread the word about the giveaway and in doing so, help me create a little more awareness about IBD. I'm also going to give you some bonus entries for being my friend (or Amanda's!)...so be sure to friend, favorite or like us wherever you like to hang out. Check out the Rafflecopter widget below to see all the ways you can enter...do as many or as few as you like...it's up to you. See below for all of the terms and conditions.
UPDATED 10/6: Wow! What a response! There were almost 400 entries, so thank you to everyone who participated by tweeting, liking, following and sharing to help spread IBD awareness! Your efforts are much appreciated! And now, I'm excited to announce that Rafflecopter has randomly selected winner **Cindy J** who will be receiving this fantastic crystal pendant necklace! If you didn't win, don't be sad. I will be holding another giveaway soon, so stay tuned for details. And thanks again to Amanda Heslinga and Rocks With Sass for the great fundraising work you are doing for the CCFA. Best of luck on your walk this weekend!
Thanks SO much for your support and thank you to Amanda for being such an inspiration! And good luck to all the giveaway entrants! I'll be revealing the winner right here on my blog in just a little over a week...but, of course you'll be the first to know, because by then you'll all be following along at any of the links below, right??? XOXO, Cindi