Creating Hope, Linking Community

Mar 22, 2024 | Awareness

Lori Stetz MD Headshot

By Dr. Lori Stetz, Hopelink Founder and TCF Scientific Advisory Board Member

As a physician, population health expert, and TargetCancer Foundation Scientific Advisory Board member, I was used to conversations about cancer. Throughout my life and career I have cared for individual patients and guided populations around the globe, treating and helping people find the right experts and treatments. As an advocate and supporter of TCF from the very beginning, I understood the unique challenges facing patients with rare cancer, and so when I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 49, I was instinctively grateful for the large body of research behind what is literally the most common cancer in the world.

But even with all of my medical experience, I found the diagnosis daunting – and began looking for ways to bolster my strength during treatment. To harness the power of my community, I gifted small diamonds set on string bracelets to those who meant the most to me – family, friends, chemo nurses- and asked them to keep me in their hearts and minds- as well as on their wrists- through the toughest part of my treatment, which lasted nearly a year. And when I finally reached a big milestone and my chemo, surgery, radiation, and then more surgery was behind me, I collected all the bracelets and strung the diamonds onto a necklace that I wear every day as a constant reminder of my own perseverance – and the community that enabled me to get through.

I found so much strength with this small project I had started; through all the difficult days – to look at my own bracelet which never left my wrist and know I had Allies out there supporting me day after day – and I realized I was onto something. So, I founded Hopelink, a mission driven retailer of jewelry that supports and connects loved ones through a time of great challenge. My goal with Hopelink is to help others unlock the support that exists within their communities, just as I found with mine. In addition, Hopelink is also committed to help drive research and patient advocacy – right in line with TCF’s mission – and so 5% of proceeds will be donated to TCF.

At the heart of Hopelink lies the belief that when we come together in times of challenge, we unlock the resilience to guide us through. I know that my restored health is a testament to the love and power of community– and through Hopelink I seek to share that positive force with others.