May 10, 2015
It can be very difficult finding the right thing to say to a loved one dealing with a major illness.
That's why Los Angeles-based designer Emily McDowell is here to help. Diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma at age 24, McDowell underwent successful chemo and radiation treatments and has been cancer-free ever since.
Now, McDowell has launched a line of empathy cards on her website that attempt to give family and friends of those suffering from cancer or other illnesses the ability to communicate more honestly and appropriately. In a blog post, she writes that her experiences provided her with a unique perspective on what it's like to have people not know what to say to her when she was dealing with cancer:
The most difficult part of my illness wasn’t losing my hair, or being erroneously called “sir” by Starbucks baristas, or sickness from chemo. It was the loneliness and isolation I felt when many of my close friends and family members disappeared because they didn’t know what to say, or said the absolute wrong thing without realizing it.
In our increasingly digital world, when it comes to someone in crisis, greeting cards have never been more relevant or appropriate. A card resonates in a way that email and text can’t. It’s a personal, simple, tangible way to be present for someone struggling with illness.