Miss A Columnist

As a 4-year Leukemia survivor, Stacey Mertes is heavily involved in fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the American Diabetes Association. Her 7-year-old son, Logan, is a recently diagnosed Type 1 diabetic, but keeps Stacey on her toes with his own active fundraising endeavors such as the Columbia Tower climb (for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society), WaMu stair climb (for Cystic Fibrosis), and several triathlons and other stair climbs around the city. Originally from a suburb of Chicago, Stacey has lived in many of the local neighborhoods (including spending 11 years next to the Pike Place Market), since graduating from the University of Washington. She finally settled down in the most diverse zip code in the country, Columbia City, where she enjoys walks to the many restaurants, farmers market, and art events nearby. Her favorite hobby of late is finding the most fun “free” things to do around Seattle with her son. She loves movies, plays, visiting the Pacific Science Center and other museums, and finding those geocaching adventures.

Good Wishes 3rd Annual Strength, Style And Dignity Benefit And Auction In Seattle

Recipient of a Good Wishes scarf (photo credit: Good Wishes)

Recipient of a Good Wishes scarf (Photo Credit: Good Wishes)

The Good Wishes 3rd annual Strength, Style and Dignity Benefit and Auction is coming this October and promises to be a very fun and entertaining event. Good Wishes, a non-profit organization created by the owner of The Finest Accessories™ Inc, provides an It’s a Wrap© or Good Wishes square scarf to anyone experiencing the thinning or loss of hair as a result of illness or treatment at no cost. Each scarf is a gift of hope that carries with it the support and good wishes of people who care and represents the strength and dignity of those who wear it. All Good Wishes gifts are adorned with Swarovski elements as a special symbol to honor the courage and spirit of the recipient.

When I went through three years of chemotherapy for Leukemia, I lost my hair the first month of chemo. The process is strange…you wake up each morning with hair all over your pillow, and you think for sure that you are bald, but when you look in the mirror, you have an entire head full of hair. This went on for about a week and a half and at times, I actually thought that one of my jokester friends was playing a practical joke on me and leaving hair on my pillow. I even had moments where I hopefully but naively thought, “maybe I’m the one chemo patient who won’t lose her hair.” But before it became too apparent that the hair was thinning, I had it cut short and donated the ponytail to Locks of Love. So, in my new pixie and me trying desperately to hold on to every last hair on my head (I get it now, men), I finally had a hospital staff member shave it off completely. I totally thought I would be a wig wearer for the remainder of my bald days, but it turns out that the wig is quite hot and with the hot flashes that I was getting, I knew wigs were not going to be my thing. So I switched to scarves. I thought for sure I could pull off the Rhoda look with no problem. I soon was getting many scarves from many friends and my stepmom giving me a chance to switch up the look based on my mood that day. However, I quickly found that I had two favorite scarves that I wore most days. The scarf hanging down over my shoulder gave me confidence as if I had hair flowing down my back. Well, it was enough to get me through the completely bald look and face the world during that difficult time.

Laurie Erickson, CEO/president of The Finest Accessories, Inc., created a company of hair accessories including headbands, barrettes and pony-tail holders, among many other unique and creative accessories. But when Erickson was approached by a client, Hillary, six years ago who was undergoing chemotherapy and asked if she carried anything for balding women, an idea was born. With Erickson’s 20 years of experience in the fashion industry, she thought how simple it would be to create a scarf for Hillary in a beautiful fabric that would make her feel beautiful again. She sent Hillary a scarf at no charge. She then created Good Wishes, a non-profit portion of her company that allows clients to send in fabric of their favorite texture and design, and Good Wishes can create a unique hug for their head at no charge to the client and is sent with a personal note from the volunteer and Erickson sending them good wishes and love.

Wall of Hope

Wall of Hope at Good Wishes office (Photo Credit: Good Wishes)

Good Wishes has recently reached an incredible milestone of 24,000 scarves sent in the last six years. They have created a Wall of Hope in their office to commemorate the many who are struggling with hair thinning, illness, or treatment. Each recipient is represented by a plaquard bearing their name, city, date sent and scarf number. As they go about their daily tasks, they can look up and be reminded of individuals whose journey is hopefully made a bit more bearable through their program and they can take a moment to send them additional Good Wishes.

The Good Wishes 3rd annual Strength, Style and Dignity Benefit and Auction is a benefit to help them continue in this mission of bringing hugs to heads for those that need it during difficult times.

WHEN: Saturday October 19, 2013
Silent Auction: 6 p.m.
Dinner: 7:30 p.m.

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel
411 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

TICKETS: Please click here to purchase.

TO ORDER A SCARF FROM GOOD WISHES: If you want a scarf for yourself or for a friend or loved one, you can contact Good Wishes through their online request form, by phone 888-778-5998 or e-mail (info@goodwishesscarves.org). They then send a wrap or scarf in a fabric of your choosing directly to these women along with the support and Good Wishes of all of our staff. If someone does not have access to the internet, they are more than happy to talk with them about their style and color preferences and select something beautiful for them.

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