Scrappy Endings: Whole Beginnings by Carolyn Converse
In June I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lupus. Happy to finally get a confirmed diagnosis, I was not prepared for what it meant. There is no known cure for Lupus; it can only be put in remission with minimized flare-ups and organ damage. Two major factors preventing flare-ups are to avoid UV light and stress. The care I am given by the great doctors and nurses at VGH and RJH is extraordinary. I knew I had to give back somehow.
Until late September I was unable to do much. Mid-October I started volunteering at VGH but I still had a big void to fill. One of my friends brought me upholstery sample books and a bag of fabric scraps, knowing that I loved to sew. It all came together for me. I could have a hobby, away from UV light, while relaxing and being creative. I could save fabric scraps from the landfill while turning them into something useful and beautiful like tote bags. I would sell them and donate 100% of the proceeds to Charity.
I chose the BC Lupus Society as there is a need to create public awareness about this disease and I chose Victoria Women’s Transition House Society. I love their vision and mission. I was saddened to find out that last year, 358 women and 189 children were referred there, but were not served immediately due to lack of space, special needs or other reasons. I realized I can help.
This venture may not have come about if I hadn’t been faced with new challenges. But this is not about illness; it is about succeeding in the face of adversity and turning a problem into an opportunity. In one month, I have designed and made 23 bags, designed a web-site and set the infrastructure for this venture. I am proud to report that I have donated $1,000 to charity, in this short time frame. My goal is to have ongoing success in raising money, having fun and inspiring anyone who is faced with challenges that seem too great to overcome.
Please visit my website at www.scrappyendings.ca to purchase these beautiful bags and help provide much needed support for these charities.
This blog will appear in the Victoria News on January 12, 2011.