Three-Time Survivor and Delaware Jewelry Maker Gives Back with Bling
Rebecca Neu, a three-time cancer survivor has been waging a personal battle against cancer since 1985. She knows that a sense of humor and the kind of support that she receives – and gives others – through the American Cancer Society are as important as any medicine.
In addition to the medical advancements that have helped her outlive the doctors’ predictions, she credits “my positive thinking, my healthy diet, and surrounding myself with an environment that is well informed and well educated, which you find at the American Cancer Society.”
After losing her hair from the chemotherapy she received for uterine cancer, “The first thing I did was go the Society’s Look Good Feel Better classes. I looked at my round peanut face, bald peanut head and lack of eyelashes and eyebrows, and thought, I need help,” jokes Rebecca. Before she knew it, she was helping with the Look Good Feel Better classes. "I taught women how to draw their eyebrows on. I made everyone laugh by drawing my own eyebrows at odd angles." But she's serious when she explains, "it's amazing how a little bit of makeup can make a breast cancer patient feel better when she walks out the door."
Thanks to the American Cancer Society, Rebecca found support groups that helped her through the tough times. "When I found out that my cancer had metastasized, it became scarier for me so I wanted a small, intimate group of women." She found the right one by going on the American Cancer Society site and visiting several groups listed. Then, when she wanted to move on to a group that would include her husband, she turned to the Society’s site for a group that provided resources for partners and families of patients.
"People need to know they can find anything and everything they need for cancer by calling or going on the American Cancer Society’s site," says Rebecca. "The site gives so much – so I decided to give back to the Society."
After retiring from her job with a cancer research company, Rebecca became a jewelry maker. She’s been creating breast cancer awareness jewelry, donating 25 percent of the proceeds to the American Cancer Society, and has raised more than $2,500 so far. For example, you can find her at the annual Peach Festival in August in Middleton, Delaware with her jewelry booth. She also donates other types of jewelry to auctions that support Relay For Life and Making Strides against Breast Cancer.
Last year, Rebecca made quite a splash at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Wilmington and plans to again this year. Wearing a pink wig and a pink t-shirt covered with 1,000 breast cancer ribbon pins embellished with rhinestones, she hands out the pin to Strides participants and vendors until her t-shirt is bare. "Anyone is welcome to remove a pin from my shirt," she exclaims. "It's my way of making them a little more aware about breast cancer and the importance of finding cures for all kinds of cancer."