Monday, October 31, 2011

Sseko's Pink Ribbon Project and My Grandmother's Legacy Through Her Battle with Breast Cancer

As this month is Breast Cancer Awareness month I entered a piece I wrote about my beautiful grandmother for Sseko's Pink Ribbon Project. This week I was honored to be chosen for their Friday feature. You can read it on their blog here or just scroll down to the bottom of this post.

Sseko is a company that is based in Uganda and creates beautiful handmade sandals that can be tied in hundreds of different ways. These sandals are hand made by a group of women in Uganda who make these sandals to earn money for their university education. On their website they state, "Sseko Designs is a not-just-for-profit enterprise that recognizes the power of business and responsible consumerism to support sustainable economic development, which in turn affects a country's educational, justice, and health care systems. The goal of Sseko Designs is two-fold: provide university tuition for these promising young women through a sustainable monthly income, while also contributing to the overall economic development of Uganda." How awesome is their goal?! Read the rest of their story here and shop their sandal designs here! Thank you Sseko for hosting the Pink Ribbon Project and for constantly seeking to empower and encourage women across the globe!

This is a picture of my radiant grandmother on her wedding day in 1955.

Before I was born there was a wonderful women named Helen Mar who loved me without even knowing my name. From the day I was born I was given a little piece of her, I was given her name to treasure as my very own middle name. Once I was old enough to understand I was told that my grandma Helen had passed away before I could ever meet her. She passed away just a few months before I was born. I heard many stories of what an amazing mother she was to my own dear mum and I thought of my grandmother often as a child. She may have died young but her influence in my life has always brought me courage and strength.

To this day people still come up to me occasionally and ask if I am Helen's granddaughter and then proceed to tell me stories of her kindness. We still use her amazing recipes in our home and my grandpa still loves to tell me the story of how he fell in love with her and swept her off her feet. She was fashionable and kind, loved teaching children and loved people. My mother often comments on how alike my grandma Helen and I are. She tells me how we both have the same gentle, intuitive spirit, creative talents, and flare for fashion. Every picture I've seen, everything I have been told about my grandmother I treasure away deep in my heart.

I never want to forget that I had a grandmother who nurtured her family well, was truly loved and respected by her husband and was cherished by those who knew her. My grandmother fought breast cancer for a year and a half and died at the age of 57. Even though she died so many years ago she left behind a legacy far greater then she could have anticipated. She inspired and centered me all my growing up with the knowledge that my grandmother had lived such a full and beautiful life in such a short time. To me she is the most beautiful woman I could ever look up to or hope to be like. She was brave, she was beautiful and she is my grandmother.


  1. What a wonderful post!! So moving.She would be so proud of you...You look like her very exotic!!

  2. This is an absolutely beautiful photo ! I can't stop grinning at the gorgeous couple <3


  3. she is beautiful and I loved reading about her. She died a few months before you were born, that's so profound. And God gave you her spirit.

    1. Thank you so much Ashley. Your comment meant the world to me!

  4. PRETTY!!!!