Power of Beading Contest Winners

Oct 20, 2008

Power of Beading Contest Winners

In September 2008, Beading Daily held a contest for all readers, asking them to tell us how beading helped them through a difficult time.  (You can read the original call for submissions.)  We received more than 200 entries from all over the world.  Kerrie Slade, the U.K. designer who created and donated two Awareness Ribbon Pins prizes, served as contest judge and chose the winners based on their essays.  All identifying information was removed prior to the judging.  Congratulations, Channon and Christine!

For information on our latest contests and challenges, see the Contests page.

Channon Belfry, Canada
In July 2006 I was diagnosed with Cancer of the Jaw-Bone.  In October of that year I underwent a 10 hour surgery to replace my lower right jaw bone with bone and tissue from my left leg.  I also have a very weak heart due to damage from a virus in 2003.  I’m 37 years old and have a 6 year old son.  Because of the cancer and my heart I am unable to work and even taking care of my son is extremely difficult.  How can you play if you have trouble even walking short distances?  Beading not only became a way to pass the time and for me to forget my problems – but also to spend quality time with my son.  I make my jewelry and angels and my angel makes me simple necklaces with orphan beads that I give him.  Making beautiful jewelry that I can wear to distract from my scarred face makes me feel beautiful too.  I’m always giving my jewelry away, to friends and family and to any organization that is having a fundraiser.  If I can survive, anyone can - and beading was the path that helped me get there.

Christine Riat, United States
This spring I have been diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.  I have know since the doctors told me my diagnosis that beading is the way that I am going to deal with treatment and with healing from my mastectomy.  I also have projects in mind of gifts I want to be able to leave for my family and especially my daughter.  I have a swarovski bracelet I have been working on for her to wear when she gets married in the future.  If I am not here to be at her wedding a part of me will be with her in the bracelet.  I also have wonderful friends who have worked putting together a beading area for me where when I feel good enough I can loose myself in beading and dream of what I am going to create with my beads.  I have also enjoyed being able to wear different bracelets to treatment and getting others interested in my beading. My beads also have provided great physical therapy as I have been recovering from the mastectomy.  In all ways my love of beading is helping me to cope with the challenge of being told I have cancer.

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Alibongo wrote
on Oct 20, 2008 10:35 AM

Two very worthy winners.  Hope you find some comfort in receiving your beautiful pins, made by the talented and lovely Kerrie.  

Kerrie you did a great job, it must've been a very difficult task to decide on the recipients.

on Oct 20, 2008 11:50 AM

I agree.  Both women are very deserving of the win.  I pray that both of you are able to live a long, long time and see your families grow

Nemeton wrote
on Oct 20, 2008 1:05 PM

Great stories, thank you for sharing. My best wishes to you both!

Well done Kerrie, fantastic effort and what a great result - hope your design continues to inspire and help fundraising efforts for a long time to come!

MargaretI wrote
on Oct 20, 2008 5:38 PM

Thank you both for sharing the challenges you are having in your lives at this time.  I pray that every thing works out for the best, that you get to see you children and grandchildren

grow.  God bless and have the happiest life possible.

satyridae wrote
on Oct 21, 2008 10:59 AM

Thank you for sharing your stories!

Beading is a powerful thing, indeed.

Good job, Kerrie, and beautiful design!

on Oct 22, 2008 3:12 PM

Congratulations to the winners. They are both very brave and strong women!

Wonderful job Kerrie!

KerrieSlade wrote
on Oct 23, 2008 1:23 AM

It was certainly a difficult decision as there were so many moving stories.  Thanks for your comments everyone and my best wishes to Channon and Christine and their families.