I have been a jewelry designer for 20 years. I had a small company, K Lamberti Designs, and I designed and made jewelry that I sold primarily to museum stores and galleries. At age 35, one year after I married my husband Paul, I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. The cancer was a triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma with 28 positive nodes. I had surgery, 7 months of chemo, 7 weeks of radiation, and 4 months of chemo pills. It was about 16 months of treatment which ebbed and flowed with its many obstacles. My mom, always supportive, had me dressed from head to toe in pink. Anything that funded breast cancer research, she purchased. I wondered how I fit in to it all. While lying there in the throes of chemo, I thought I could mold people’s fingerprints.
At first I molded the fingerprints of friends going through treatment for their loved ones to wear in support. I also gave my fingerprint to people going through treatment as a reminder that they were not alone on their journey. So many people reached out to me when I was diagnosed. When I finished treatment, I wanted to do the same. I became a member of a sisterhood that I am proud to be apart of. These women paved the way for me, gave me tips on how to combat side effects, made me laugh and cried with me. Their strength and beauty is a constant motivator.
As many people know the journey does not really end when the treatment ends. Three years out, with my strength and health back, I was told I had less than 1% chance of having a child of my own. This information was almost as devastating to hear as the cancer diagnosis. A child was the one thing I had always wanted since I was a little girl.
Well, it turns out they were wrong. I gave birth four days before my 40th birthday to my beautiful daughter Kate and two years later to my beautiful son Clark. I wear their fingerprints around my neck. Kate and Clark changed the way I want to work. If I am going to spend time away from my kids, I want to use that time to help breast cancer patients get through treatment just as others helped me. For this reason, I created Touchstone Jewelry. This is my dream company. I am using my talents as a jewelry designer and at the same time donating half the profits to benefit breast cancer patients. I will keep you posted on how this company evolves and excited to see the ripple effects.