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Wandering amongst the cherry blossoms Pendant

Wandering amongst the cherry blossoms Pendant

Regular price $29.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $29.95 USD
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Inspiration: Wendy Santana

Wendy's Twist on Cancer: Prior to my brain cancer diagnosis, I was consumed with work. I was a successful fundraising executive and leader in the non-profit sector but my anxiety was so high—it was as if every deadline was a matter of life and death. Also, like many people, I took my skills, strengths, and daily activities (such as walking, talking, and driving) for granted. That all changed on the evening of October 15, 2014, when I ended up in the hospital following a grand mal seizure that I had while reading with my son in his bed. An MRI revealed a mass in my brain, which the doctors suspected was malignant. A few days later, I underwent a brain biopsy and by the end of the week, I was informed that I did, in fact, have a large malignant primary brain tumor. I suddenly had no deadlines and was learning a potent lesson about life and death.

As it turned out, the tumor was impacting my central nervous system and had grown across my left frontal and temporal lobes (affecting the areas of my brain responsible for speech and movement). Several weeks later, I endured a craniotomy. When I awoke, I couldn't move my right side or speak. I spent over a month in the hospital. I was miserable. I didn’t feel seen or heard. I was also depressed from the sudden loss of my career, the loss of my ability to communicate, and the loss of control over my body.

It took a few years but eventually, I regained my speech and the use of my right side. During that time, I slowly transformed myself and discovered new strengths. In my quest to understand what was happening, I read several memoirs by cancer survivors, joined cancer support groups, collected brain cancer resources, and actively began volunteering with organizations like the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA).

While relearning to walk, talk, and drive, my son and I published a children’s book together and used it to raise money to help other brain tumor patients. Later on, I created a website/blog called “2nd Chance 2 Live,” where I began posting interviews with cancer survivors and others who have authored many of the memoirs I read. This led me to launch an ongoing social media campaign called "A Face of Strength," where the goal is to allow others within the cancer community to feel seen and heard by featuring their profound strength and wisdom.

My twist on cancer is this: it took time but once I finally accepted what happened I was able to move forward. Now, I’m more mindful and I listen to my body. Also, after being medically retired for eight years, I returned to work in April of this year and now I’m living out my purpose as the West Coast Regional Manager for the ABTA!

Artist: Naimah Thomas

Naimah's Artist Statement: Wendy means ‘friend’ or ‘wanderer,’ a figure surrounded by purple African protea flowers and supported by a bouquet of cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms represent rebirth, new beginnings, and the start of spring. My inspiration shared reflections of feeling the weight of always having to go above and beyond. Carrying the expectations of the world on her shoulders. African protea flowers represent strength, courage, and resilience, since the plant survives in extreme climate conditions.

Wendy has survived some extreme conditions and has shown that she embodies diversity and courage. I created this art to show the beauty, power, and vulnerability of simply existing. Not having to perform, to minimize, or to dismiss the strength we all carry within.

Take a look at our beautiful handcrafted photo military dog tags which can be made with your very own photo, image, or design

Made from highly polished stainless steel they are available in both polished steel or polished gold and make an ideal and unique gift

Photo's capture those special moments, why not turn your picture or message into a superb gift that will be cherished forever.

Our dog tags make a great gift for yourself or your loved one and are perfect for anniversaries, Christmas, birthdays, and many more special occasions

Chain Types

Luxury Military Ball Chain Necklace available in 2 sizes 18" or 24" with a clasp or with ladies cable chain 18" to 22" extendable.

  • Made from 316 stainless steel
  • Available in polished steel or polished gold
  • Military ball chain 18" or 24" or ladies chain 18" to 22" cable chain extendable
  • Image coated with Opti Coat for long-lasting protection
  • Size 1.1" (28mm) x 2" (50mm)
  • Waterproof

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