When Kate Bockholt was 11 years old, she watched her mother, Stacy, battle non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Kate had grown up hearing how her mom faced her first battle with cancer—then it was Hodgkin lymphoma—when she was pregnant with Kate. Now she and her family were facing cancer a second time. Fortunately, doctors caught the disease in its early stage, and Kate’s mom made it through treatment. Kate decided she needed to do something to help find a cure for cancer.
Then an idea came to the enterprising middle school student. Kate’s mother owns katoj, a business selling handcrafted, personalized jewelry. Kate asked if she could use her mother’s equipment and supplies to create her own line of jewelry. Kate’s Cure is the result—sold on the katoj website, the line of jewelry features a sterling silver disk that is hand-stamped with the word HOPE, hung on a chain along with a small colored gem representing a specific cancer of the buyer’s choice.
Since launching the line in fall 2012, Kate raised more than $4,300 for the Cancer Research Institute.
We spoke with Kate to find out more about how she developed the idea and why.
CRI: What was it like watching your mom face cancer?
Kate: It was hard. She seemed tired and weaker, but we knew she’d be okay. They caught her cancer early and she’s fine now.
CRI: How did you get through it?
Kate: We had a lot of help. Her friends started a group that brought us meals so my mom and dad wouldn’t have to cook. The doctors and nurses were helpful, too, and family and friends all prayed for my mom.
CRI: Why did you choose to donate to Cancer Research Institute?
Kate: We did a lot of research and we wanted to support a charity that was big and supported all types of cancer instead of just one or two cancers. We came across CRI and thought it was perfect.
CRI: What kind of response have you gotten so far?
Kate: People seem to be really happy with the necklaces. We’ve gotten lots of great testimonials that you can see online. They’re popular and people like knowing that they’re supporting a good cause.
CRI: How long will these necklaces be available?
Kate: I’m hoping to continue through high school. I’m in 8th grade now, so at least four more years. I’ll do it as long as I can. I hope to make a lot of money for Cancer Research Institute.
CRI: What will you do after high school?
Kate: I want to become a surgeon, so I’m hoping to get into a good college and medical school.
CRI: What advice would you give to another young person who’s facing cancer in his or her family right now?
Kate: Stay strong and help when you can. Don’t get overwhelmed. When someone has cancer they might need a lot of help, even if they don’t ask for it. Try to be there for them.