“Breast cancer is not pretty. And it’s no pink ribbon.”
When you visit the Foye Belle Foundation’s website, that statement sits bold and blue on the landing page. Most of us equate Breast Cancer Awareness Month to fundraisers and marathons dripping with cheerful fuchsia banners and balloons, and all things girly pink.
30A local and founder of the foundation and its Blue Bag Movement, Chelsea Berler, had a much more personal and authentic vision for what breast cancer awareness should look and feel like.
After being diagnosed with aggressive stage four triple negative breast cancer and receiving much-needed love and support during her chemotherapy treatment, Chelsea witnessed a unique need.
The Foye Belle Foundation and Blue Bag Movement was born November 2017 from Chelsea’s own observation that not every chemotherapy patient was receiving as much love and support during their treatment as she was.
There are plenty of resources and yearly initiatives raising funds for research, but what about the people going through the trenches of it right now? How can they be helped and supported during the fight for their lives?
Honoring her grandmother who passed away from breast cancer, namesake of the foundation, Chelsea had a simple answer. She curated 20 items people going through treatment could use as comforts such as, blankets, hats, oatmeal, tea, a hot/cold cup, coloring books, books to read, and kleenex. Each bag including mindful items only someone who has lived through that process of treatment could provide.
With the help of volunteers, they began filling blue bags and deploying them to cancer patients all over the United States, and eventually worldwide. In nearly a year into its existence, there have been 500 bags shipped globally.
“The whole idea for the Blue Bag Movement was about making people feel less blue. So, the idea is whenever you are feeling blue you can reach in the bag… things that will either help ease the side effects of chemo or to help pass the time during what is normally a 6 hour chemo treatment session,” Chelsea’s husband Mark Berler, president of Foye Belle Foundation, said.
Here’s Cory from 30A Radio with an updated Foye Belle spotlight featuring Chelsea’s husband Mark Berler.
Chelsea Berler passed away in 2018, but her foundation and legacy is ferociously alive and pressing on.
Join the Blue Bag Movement at Clint Eagar Design Studio for an Open House, Thursday October 18, 2018, 1-8 p.m. 20% of sales will be donated to the Foye Belle Foundation.
www.clinteagardesign.com, 57B Uptown Grayton Cir. Santa Rosa Beach.
CAROLINE STEPHENSON is a contributing writer to 30A.
To make monetary donations to facilitate the purchasing of bag items, click here. Requests to receive or give a bag are also taken through the website.
Buy a BEach Strong tumbler and 30A will donate 50% of profits to Foye Belle.