You know how hard it is to find the right thing to say to a loved one dealing with cancer? Struggle no more, as these two brilliant ladies have created a line of greeting cards for all of those tough moments (and the good ones, too!). Even better, they make it easy for you by creating a plan to make sure those important people are regularly reminded that they are thought of with love – and humor. 😀
Bridgette Crull and Nanci Bauer are two former colleagues and best friends who were inspired by their own life experiences to try to make a difference in the lives of those going through cancer treatments.
Together they have created a line of greeting cards, Warrior Cancer Cards™. As the resident expert here, I can assure you that Hallmark does not have the right cards for the myriad of things that happen, whether you are a patient or a caregiver (side note: these cards made me LOL, for real). We were lucky enough to grab a few minutes to chat with them about this most excellent endeavor.
Tell us how you got started?
Bridgette: When I was young, I remember the times my mother smiled and laughed while she was battling Cancer. They were always when she received a card in the mail from a dear friend or they came to visit with card in hand. When she had to be hospitalized weeks at a time, we were told not to bring flowers on her floor due to Cancer patients immune system. Once again, I noticed the joy and happiness everyone on the floor received when the mail was delivered to their rooms and they opened that card and read those words of support and love.
My mother kept every one of those cards and sometimes I would walk into her room and she would be asleep with a card lying on her chest. I realized then that words carry power and can bring laughter and joy to people who sometimes struggle to get through the day.
Our family handles tragedy with in innate humor. My mother may have physically missed special moments in all of her children’s life, such as weddings and the birth of her grandchildren, but her sense of style, humor and laughter lives on in our Warrior Cancer Cards.
How has your professional background informed your process?
Nanci is a graphic designer that worked in marketing creating ads and marketing materials. She started designing wedding invitations on the side for a more creative outlet, which led to teaming up with Bridgette and greeting card design. Bridgette started off as a PR director writing and creating marketing campaigns in the fashion and beauty industry. Through this process and through past experience Nanci and Bridgette found a common ground in Cancer and discovered there was nothing out there that was motivational and humorous to get Cancer patients through their every day battles.
Is this a second act or “New Usual” for you?
We feel like this is our New Usual. It’s our focus every day. When you are part of the Warrior community, whether a caregiver or a patient, it never leaves the back of your mind how to make the days, weeks and months go better. Our New Usual is creating a greeting card line to bring joy and laughter to caregiver and patients lives.
These cards seem applicable to many issues, including cancer. Is that your intent?
Originally, it was not our intent, but as it developed, we discovered that our cards weren’t just purchased for Cancer Warriors, but many other Warriors battling other illnesses.
In my own experience, I found people just didn’t know what to say. You are opening the doors for conversation and support here, with both humor and compassion. Was that the goal?
Yes, that was definitely our goal. We found out that a lot of people just don’t know what to say or it comes out wrong. Not everyone has incredible communication skills. That’s why we have greeting cards, to express the things we don’t know how to say.
One of my best friends sent me a card every week, so that it arrived on the day I had chemo. Your “prescription” option is just perfect for something like that and you are making it easy to do. What was the inspiration for that?
We started seeing a pattern of multiple cards being purchased at one time. We found as the months and sometimes years go by, these Warriors are still battling ups and downs. Through research and personal experience, we realized the importance of keeping in contact with these Warriors and that a subscription based program lets these Warriors know that they are never forgotten.
We all know that having cancer is a very personal experience. It’s different for everyone. Is that part of your inspiration when creating your cards?
You can’t compare Cancer to Cancer. They are all different. There’s not a “one size fits all.” That’s why we have several different collections. Censored, uncensored and kids.
We love that you also have lines for men and children. Can you tell us more about why you chose to do that and how you are approaching it?
Our plan is to expand both lines. Both of us being mothers, your nurturing side goes to want to help children. It was inevitable that we were going to create a children’s line. We are creating more Little Warriors™ cards and a Little Warriors™ workbook. As for the men’s collection, it was created from personal experience and taken from what we learn on a day to day basis.
We are constantly developing new lines, as we are continuously inspired by people we meet and stories we hear. Most of our line is developed by our “Warrior” family of friends. We do a lot of custom work, too. With the prescription line, we can create something specific for our clients.
I love that you recognize that sometimes its years, not months, that people have to go to treatment. It’s great that your cards reflect that. How do you incorporate that into your creative process?
Each month we come up with new encouraging cards because these Warriors are sometimes fighting for years and need something to look forward to. The cards are ever evolving and changing, just like life. We can break barriers by communicating love and compassion.
In short, pretty extraordinary, right? Head on over to Warrior Cancer Cards™ to sign up for a prescription, order some cards that say all things you want to say but don’t know how or to just make someone special smile.
If you would like to support this effort, find out how here.