DANIELLE Paparone was heartbroken when her 27-year-old boyfriend Jake Colburn died of brain cancer in 2016, but eventually she found solace in jewellery making.
“When I met him he wasn’t sick and in just over a year he had a brain tumour – it was a very big shock,” the East Fremantle resident says.
A second round of surgery in 2015 failed to halt the aggressive cancer, and as she watched Colburn slip into a coma and rapidly deteriorate, Paparone vowed to raise money for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
But how was she going to do it?
The marketing assistant tapped into the two things she knew best – marketing and jewellery making – and launched Pearl Meets Crystal, an online shop selling her Swarovski crystal and pearl bracelets. All profits go directly to the foundation.
“I’m struggling to keep up with demand, it’s generated so much interest,” Paparone says.
Brain cancer kills more people in Australia than any other and about 1600 people are diagnosed with it every year, but it is the least known cancer and receives the least amount of funding for research.
Survival rates for brain cancer are low and haven’t changed much in 30 years, despite significant increases in survival rates for Australians diagnosed with other cancers, like prostate and breast.
“Brain cancer costs more per person than any other cancer, yet only receives a small fraction of federal government cancer research funding,” the foundation says.
Paparone’s fund-raising bracelets can be purchased at http://www.instagram.com/pearlmeetscrystal or etsy.com/au/shop/PearlMeetsCrystal.
You can donate at http://www.curebraincancer.org.au
by JENNY D’ANGER