By Jennifer Grohs
My amazing mother, Rose Ratcliff, was 54 when she developed back pain and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We never gave up hope that she could beat it and we even talked about her going to my children’s weddings. Unfortunately, she passed away from this disease. She continues to inspire me every day in the way I choose to raise my kids and conduct myself. It was so painful to lose her and I never want anyone to have to go through something like that again. That is why I continue to do everything I can to fight pancreatic cancer. She can no longer fight but I can.
My wonderful friend Corina Madilian inspired me to host the luncheon and jewelry trunk show at my home. Hosting at my home gave me the chance to have a nice meal with my friends and do some good for a great cause. I loved doing this event with our Single Stone On Mission Street, a fine jewelry boutique. The team there is a wonderful group of girls who I consider friends with fabulous taste! The designers for the jewelry line Jemma Wynne are very creative and make beautiful pieces of jewelry. Having the jewelry there just brought in a fun element to the day.
Some of my favorite moments from the event included seeing my friends adorned with beautiful jewelry and smiling. I felt so blessed and fortunate to have friends come together to support a cause that is so close to my heart. There were a lot of smiles. The most important part of the experience was listening to Agi and learning new information. I feel that I know a lot of information because I watched my mother suffer through pancreatic cancer, but those who have not had that experience do not have as much knowledge about pancreatic cancer. Power is knowledge and I was so happy to see my friends learning more about the disease.
We at Single Stone had such a great time hosting the jewelry trunk show to support Jennifer Grohs and a cause that has impacted her life. Our motivation for hosting these types of events stems from wanting to build relationships with the people in our community; the best way to do this, we have found, is to support organizations that are close to their hearts.
Jennifer has been a great friend to us for several years, and it meant so much for us to give back to her in some way. Most importantly, it was rewarding for us to honor Jennifer’s mother, who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer.
One of the most poignant moments of the afternoon was when Agi spoke to the group about pancreatic cancer, sharing both her personal story and the research that her organization is behind. I think for many of the guests, this was the first time they had been to a fundraiser about pancreatic cancer research, which highlights what Agi meant when she said that this cause is hugely underfunded. Knowing that The Hirshberg Foundation is pushing for cancer detection in new and innovative ways showed us all that this is a cause worth taking the time to volunteer for and to donate money to.