"Do You Know A Cancer Patient

                           Who Needs A Cinderella Moment?"                      

Testimonials

  • Depending upon the time of day you are sitting down to read these, we recommend having a nice cup of tea or pouring a nice glass of wine to enjoy while reading our Bling Recipients' testimonials! You may want a box of tissues handy too! Enjoy!
Margaret S.

I was taken with your generosity when presented with a pair of earrings supplied by your foundation for outpatients at St. Barnabas Hospital. 

I wanted to let you know, while the process of diagnosis and recovery can be overwhelming, the kindness of friends, and indeed strangers, have moved me in ways I would never have expected. 

I was having a particularly difficult day when the nurse opened up this curious box filled with jewelry and explained the foundation to me. Again, thank you for adding a but of sunshine. I plan to wear them during my radiation treatments tht are forthcoming. Bling does make me feel good.

Margaret S.

 

 

 

 

 
Jan and Bob Harris

We don't meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason. Operation Bling has gifted me with so many people crossing my path of whom I could not imagine my life without them being in it and the love they have shown me. Jan and Bob Harris are an example of the gift of friendships I speak of with Operation Bling. We first fell in love with Jan and Bob when we started attending the Presbyterian Church in Morristown way before Operation bling was born. They are living examples of quintessential good and loving people. Over the past 21 years, Jan Harris had been a faithful servant of the Presbyterian church in Morristown and to the community as a Clothing Bank coordinator. She led more than 30 volunteers, knew the clients by name, and was sensitive to meet their individual needs. It may have been a jacket, new socks, underwear, toiletries, clothes for a newborn, or a blanket to keep warm, no matter the need, Jan was on it. The Clothing Bank was Jan's personal mission and she served with sensitivity, compassion, and integrity. Jan recently decided it was her time to retire and turn the Clothing Bank over to a new generation of volunteers. In recognition of her years of service, The Presbyterian Church in Morristown proudly dedicated and renamed the Clothing Bank as "Jan's Closet". When Operation Bling was given to me in prayer in 2008, Jan and Bob were cheerleaders and supporters from its beginning. They became official "founders" with their financial support allowing us to grow and keep "blinging" as many cancer patients as we possibly could. As Operation Bling's years went on, both Jan and Bob became Bling Recipients themselves, each a warrior doing battle with cancer. We are saddened to report the death of Jan Harris on January 8th. Her memorial service will be held in the Sanctuary on Saturday, January 14th at 1:00pm. Thank you Jan for everything. Go in Peace, well done, good and faithful servant and friend! (Love, Chris Ferdinand)

Ann Allen

My name is Ann Allen and last week I was reviewing the prep steps with my nurse Erin for my breast cancer radiation that starts tomorrow. How overwhelming it all is! Even though my husband was right at my side, I felt so alone and lost.

After all the "stuff" we reviewed I was spent. She then said now for the last item and asked if I had heard of Operation Bling. Of course, I had not and proceeded to watch as she pulled out multiple jewelry cases and told me that I could select, free of charge, any item I wished. After the initial shock, a smile crossed my face that is still there. What a delight! What a "boost in the arm" of joy and calm. I felt like me again for that very special moment, I was in charge again because I got to select something that I really liked. My new bangle bracelet and I will be going through radiation together!

My many, many thanks for the beautiful gift but most especially for thinking of all of us who are in a scary, new place for the time being. The thoughtfulness and generosity is so appreciated. God bless all of you for your great work.

Gratefully and humbly, Ann

 Megan

I just wanted to say a big thank you for Operation Bling. I had my last chemo treatment for breast cancer at RCCA in Morristown, NJ this past Thursday and when the nurse walked up with this bag of bling for me to choose from I was stunned. You hit the nail on the head. So much is "taken" when you go through this process that you start to forget who the heck you are anymore. I am 37 with 4 young children and never ever did I imagine I would be doing "this".

I decided on a light pink ring. I am not a pink person and don't wear the pink ribbon shirts or hats or have the bumper sticker. Maybe it is my way of blocking it all our but for some reason this pink ring spoke to me as if to say "Hey, you need to remember this time no matter how awful it was because you survived it!"

From the bottom of my heart, thank you! Megan L.

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Ruth,

Today I was given the opportunity to pick out a beautiful piece of jewelry offered by your foundation. My choice was a necklace. I want to thank you for your thoughtfulness. How kind of you to think of others and be so generous. In two weeks, I will be starting radiation for breast cancer, after having been through chemo and surgery. The necklace put a big smile on my face and sunshine in my life. Many thanks for being so thoughtful. Sincerely, Ruth

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Maryann,

I'm truly at a loss for words! Thank you so much for the ring I received this past Monday when I was receiving chemo at Overlook. What a surprise! I was stunned that I could choose a piece of jewelry! I did choose a beautiful ring! You surely put a smile on my face and tears in my eyes. Thank you for your kindness and generosity. God Bless, Maryann

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Elizabeth

Dear Chris,

Thank you for your thoughtfulness in "blinging" me with the warrior bracelet. Although I rarely wear jewelry, I am thoroughly enjoying wearing your special gift. Somehow it does add to my determination to "beat" the cancer. From now on I shall wear your bling gift with great hope and with thanks in my heart for all your kindness.

With heartfelt thanks, Elizabeth

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Anna

Dear Christine,

The past nine months of my life have been a nightmare. From hearing the words "You have Cancer" to all the tests, biopsies, doctors, hospitals, surgeries, chemo and now, Radiation, there has not been any shining moments - that is, until yesterday. As I was explaining to the Social Worker my fears and anxieties about receiving this next phase of treatment, in walks a Nurse with a bunch of small little black boxes. I could not imagine what this was all about and then she and the Social Worker explained to me your Organization "Operation Bling"!!! WOW! You are truly an Angel in Disguise. I am now the proud owner of a beautiful pair of Blingy earrings with a dangling pearl! They are beautiful and evereytime I wear them, I will certainly think of you and the wonderful thing you have done for a perfect stranger. God Bless you and your family and all who help you make this "Operation" such a success!

Anna

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Jean Jones

Dear Chris & Bill,

I feel so blessed to have met both of you! You both are beautiful and so compassionate! I have been telling everyone, including putting it on my Facebook page, about Operation Bling. I even wrote to the President of St. Barnabas! I have been voting daily and telling people to do the same.

You can't imagine how it feels to be a cancer patient and then be given a beautiful "Bling Gift"! I was so touched, it brought tears to my eyes! A total stranger like you both would be so caring to think of all of us that are going through a difficult time. You both are truely ANGELS! I promise you will be seeing and hearing from me! If there is anything I can do to help with Operation Bling, please don't hesitate to call me.

Jean Jones

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Barbara G.

How very thoughtful to create a sparkling smile with a bit of "Bling"! If only for a moment, from time to time, whenever glanced upon, a reminder someone cares. Thank you for bringing a smile to a frownful gaze. Thank you for caring!

Barbara G.

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Lisa

I wanted to drop you a quick line to say THANK YOU very, very much for the beautiful ring I am wearing.

I was very down last year at this time. I was just diagnosed with breast. I went to St. Barnabas, where I had two lumpectomys then ultimately, a double mastectomy. During my visit to the doctor's office, the nurse offered me a piece of jewelry from your collection. I was recently divorced, so I didn't have any rings, so that is what I chose.

I receive so many compliments on the ring, but it just makes me feel so good knowing the support that I had from your organization and the St. Barnabas nurses and doctors.

Thank you, Lisa

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Donna

Yesterday, I was at St. Barnabas in Livingston for a "marking" appointment to begin my radiation treatment for breast cancer. Although I am fortunate that the cancer was discovered during a routine mammogram on December 21st and was Stage I, it has been a very emotional and overwhelming time for me. I don't think anone is ever prepared to hear that they have Cancer and the effect it will have on them for the rest of their life.

What a wonderful surprise I received at the end of my appointment. The gift of a beautiful "bling" necklace. I had been having an especially tough day and broken down several times as the reality of starting treatment was upon me. When the nurse presented me with the "bling", I was overcome with the generosity and thoughtfulness of the gesture and gift.

I wanted to personally thank you and your husband. You are both angels. I will certainly pass the word and encourage my friends and family to support this wonderful endeavor.

Thank you so much. Donna

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Alison

I just wanted to let you know that I am a patient at the Summit Medical Group in Berkeley Heights. Mercy, the wonderful infusion nurse, gave me a pair of beautiful  earrings from your foundation. I love them and think very highly of all the nurses there and of your work!

Alison

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Margi

I was "blinged" yesterday at Overlook Hospital - I was so excited when I heard from Lee Anne Caffrey that I was going to be "blinged".

I have stage 4 lung cancer and after undergoing chemo for over a year, I felt that yesterday I just could not take it anymore. Then appeared Lee Anne with all of her beautiful items for me to choose from. I soon got over my depression when I picked out a necklace with a colorful bird. Lee Anne put it on me and even today I am still wearing it.

Thank you so, so, so much for all the good work you do. It surely gave me a lift and I enjoyed the story that came with the "bling". I will be brave and keep on fighting - It is with people that I have never met that keep me in their prayers as well as family members.

Thank you again, Margi

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Linda and Rich

Rich and I just want to thank you again for "Blinging" us! We have been on a very long and difficult road over the past 5 years dealing with his many reoccurrences of colon cancer. Rich suffers so much, yet without complaint. He is an amazing man! During this time in our lives, there is very little that is different and fun. There are very few happy surprises. I think that is why what you do is so special. You bring some sparkle to the dreariness of living a life with cancer and its treatments and problems. Thank you for your kindness! You really did brighten our day - no week! Every time we look at the watch or the pretty necklace you gave us, we think of the little bit of fun and excitement you brought our way!

Thank you again! Linda and Rich

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Valerie

I am writing to you just to say THANK YOU!

I was diagnosed with 2nd stage breast cancer in 2000, had surgery and chemo, radiation and was ok for 9 years. In 2009 it returned, only this time was labeld 4th Stage and in the bones! I was at Overlook Hospital very ill. I had to make radiation trips every day. While waiting for my treatment a nurse came over with a few bling displays and said pick one! I was elated!! I could not believe it! As sick as I was, I had the biggest smile on my face and felt wonderful! You cannot imagine how you make these women feel! What a beautiful gift and wonderful gesture! I'm still being treated and ok. Thank you so much for the bling ring. It's as beautiful as you are!

Thank you Again! Sincere Thanks! Valerie

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Merise

Dear Chris & Bill,

Happy, Happy New Year to you both. What a wonderful present. I just love my ring from Operation Bling. It gave me such a lift to receive such a lovely gift at the beginning of my radiation treatment. Thank you for bringing such joy to people who are about to start treatment. It was the highlight of my day. Your kindness was sincerely appreciated.

Merise

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Dear Bling Foundation,

How nice it is to receive a sparkle of good will and hope from you! I have received quite a few compliments and am happy to tell the story! With appreciation!

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Hello,

I am a breast cancer survivor. At the end of my radiaiton treatments, I was offered a gift of jewelry to choose. This gesture touched my heart and I am sending you my deep-felt thanks. Your thoughtful idea was gratefully accepted and much appreciated!

Sincerely, A.

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Liliam

To you and your dear husband Bill, my heartfelt thank you for your generosity and kindness towards a perfect stranger like myself. As many others in your testimonials today, January 11, 2013, marks my last day of radiation at Morristown Medical Center to treat Breast cancer. I was already elated to have gone through the treatment without complications with the caring support of everyone at the Cancer Center. When Sun, one of the radiation professionals, presented me with my choice of Operation Bling's beautiful jewelry I truly felt like a princess! You made my day and gave me another reason to smile and feel blessed!!! May God continue to illuminate your lives and inspire you to give others hope.

Sincerely, Liliam

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Laura

Yesterday marked my final radiation treatment (had a total of 33) for breast cancer. When the nurse said she needed to see me I thought "what now, hasn't she bugged me enough already for blood pressure checks, ect.?"   WOW, I sure felt guilty for my reaction when she brought out 3 boxes filled with really nice jewelry!!!  Love my new, stunning ring & have already gotten several compliments!!!   Just wanted to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU from the bottom of my fragile, little heart!!! What a fantastic idea! 

Sincerely, Laura

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Suzanne

Well, I went for my yearly mamogram and after being referred to a breast surgeon for a biopsy was diagnosed with breast cancer. My journey started in April of 2012 and with surgery and radiation completed at The University Medical Center at Princeton in September of 2012, I'm on my way to the better side of this journey. What a surprise to be Blinged!!!!! You all are truly Bling Angels!!! I picked out the pink stone ribbon necklace and was so honored to receive such a treasured gift. I've had many admirers and I'm so proud to tell them about Operation Bling. I recently ordered a pink stone ribbon necklace for my sister, who is a seven year breast cancer survivor who can't wait to get her necklace.

Thank you with all my heart, Susan

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Barbara Bair

When I was at Overlook Hospital, with a 103 degree fever, an infection, feeling scared, depressed and most unattractive with my bald head, no eyebrows and no eyelashes, a "Bling Angel" stopped in, let me choose a piece of jewelry (which I wear with great pride), and really changed my mood for the better. I had been pondering about returning to work or retiring, a decision I had a terrible time making. What would I do after retiring that could be as rewarding as teaching? After she presented me with a lovely, sparkling pin, she stayed and chatted and listened. It was nice to know that somebody cared, and I snapped out of my depression. That day I vowed that, if and when I recovered, I would like to be a "Bling Angel" and try to help others in their battle with cancer. Helping others with cancer was something I could do after retirement that semed really worthwhile and a way of giving back after all the kindnesses I had received.

That wish has come true. I am a survivor and am presently taking bling gifts to cancer patients at Overlook. One woman chose a silver ring with a zirconium. She was thrilled because she had lost the diamond from her engagement ring, which she sorely missed, and this one was an exact duplicate. Another woman told me that she had been a singer and member of a choir, but felt too sick to sing while having chemo. When I asked her about the songs she used to sing, she told me that "Ave Maria" was her favorite and then burst into song and sang it loudly and beautifully. All the other patients and nurses in the chemo room heard her and applauded very enthusiastically. She beamed and offered to give a concert to the cancer patients. I felt so happy to see her looking so pleased.

Every time I "bling", I love to see the smiles on the patients, and I always feel so grateful for my recovery.

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Did I tell you that our son-in-law-to-be got accepted to UMDNJ Medical School? CONGRATULATIONS to Shaun Adair! So here is the very cool part of Shaun's story that you lovers of Operation Bling will enjoy.....

Shaun's dream has been to become a psychiatrist. His undergrad and pre-med studies have all headed him to his goal of attending UMDNJ Medical School. In January, I took him "blinging" with me to Trinitas in Elizabeth to show them what we do. I basically dragged Shaun along because Bill was busy and what I was bringing to them was a bit too much for me to carry in by myself. We had a fabulous fun time "blinging" the patients! Shaun enjoyed the day and was very moved by our Bling Recipients' reactions to being "blinged"!

What I did not know was that Shaun wrote about that day in Trinitas in his medical school application. What I did not know was he spoke extensively of Operation Bling and its effects on the patients to the dean and the committee of the Medical School at UMDNJ.

UMDNJ said to Shaun that psychiatry often gets a negative connotation and yet the oncology population is one that could benefit so much from psychiatry. They told Shaun that they would like to see him go into oncology. They would like him to be a psychiatrist who specializes in oncology and then told him, "Here is your opportunity! Welcome to UMDNJ Medical School!"....and they handed him his acceptance letter!!! Classes started two weeks later and Shaun now studies his brains out in my Bling office because it is the quietest room in our house!

HOW AWESOME IS THAT STORY?!!! Thank you for reading our stories and our Bling Recipients' stories! ....keep reading! Lots of love, Christine Ferdinand

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Thank You

Dear Chris, I need to share a Bling incidence, one that surprised me. This summer I have been undergoing radiation treatments for a breast cancer diagnosis I received in the Spring. The prognosis was/is very positive, so we hadn't really "broadcast" it. As one doctor said, he thought it would be a "blip" in my schedule. Anyway, I finished today and the radiation therapists told me they had a gift for me. Imagine my surprise when I saw the Bling display boxes at their workstation! (For some reason, I never made the connection with radiation treatments.) You already know what a great thing you do--many times for a multitude of people you don't know....and sometimes for folks you do! I had never planned on being on the recipient side of Operation Bling(!) but thanks for bringing some bling to my "blip". Blessings as you keep blinging!

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Thank you for my beautiful Breast Cancer Survivor necklace! Such a nice surprise!  R.McD.

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Thanks for being nice to my wife!  T.R.

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Yusleine

My name is Yusleine, I’m the mother of Katarina who is 4yrs old and was diagnosed with leukemia less than a year ago. She attends the Valerie Center in Morristown, NJ in which our social worker Ann Stocknoff and Cathy Cerutti introduced us to Operation Bling.

I would like to thank you for having such a wonderful foundation in which you not only lift the spirits of the child but of the family members as well. Katarina loves her heart shape pink earing as she feels likes a princess wearing them.

Your foundation is truly a blessing not only to my daughter but to all the children and family members that need a little brightness brought into their lives.

Thank you,
Yusleine

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Carey

April 19, 2011

I just wanted to send you a little note to thank you for my bling! I love love love my bling...

August 2010, I was 43 and diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer, this was obviously very upsetting to my family and I. I learned of Operation Bling when I was speaking to a friend of mine; Brandy Johnson who is a social worker from St. Clares Hospital in Denville New Jersey. Brandy was preparing me for some of the difficult decisions I would be facing in the upcoming months. Brandy talked about the physical and emotional stresses I could have during my treatment. Then Brandy said, now let's talk about the good stuff...Brandy began telling me a story about a wonderful woman who wanted to make a difference for woman with cancer. She told me the story of how you started Operation Bling. Then to my surprise, Brandy pulled out a fancy black velvet box with the most lovely pieces of jewelry in it. She told me I could pick anything I wanted out of the box. I never heard of such a thing. All the pieces were so beautiful. My first decision was, would I like earrings or a ring...I decided on earrings because I knew I would be losing my hair from the chemo treatments and I thought a beautiful pair of earrings would make me feel better about that. And they did!Christine, I am much like you. Very spiritual and striving to make a difference in the world. I believe people are in our lives for a reason, as was your customer that inspired Operation Bling, as you are in mine. I admire people who act on Divine inspiration. You have done just that; you listened, you acted and you made a difference. Christine, you absolutely made a difference for me during the most difficult time in my life. Not only did you add sparkle to my life when it was very dull, but you also added warmth and kindness.

Christine, I wanted to personally thank you and your husband for your kindness. I love love the earrings I picked out. When I wear my earrings, I don't think of the negatives of breast cancer, I think of the positives; people making a difference for others. I will have them forever.

Here is a photo of me wearing my bling sitting in front of a get well card made for me by some precious preschoolers.

Oh and CONGRATULATIONS on being selected for WOMAN OF THE YEAR!

Best Wishes
Carey

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Michaela Quinlan

February, 2011

Beginning cancer treatment is frightening. You can talk to people who have gone through it, but it’s not the same. You still don’t know how you are going to respond and if your body will react. It is such an individual experience, and no two people seem to experience it the same way. It was my first Chemo, and all I really knew was that it would take all day. A woman came around carrying a bag of little boxes. She explained what the “Operation Bling Foundation” was about and let me select what I liked, a pair of small earrings that glistened like tiny stars. She helped me put them in, since my one arm was occupied with the chemo infusion. They looked cute. I said thank you but thought nothing more about them. However, I soon realized that I often touched them and looked at them in a mirror as if for reassurance and support.

It has been nine months now since that first chemo, and I haven’t removed the “Bling” earrings except during my surgery. They still feel good and will always remind me of the kindness of others at a time when I didn’t even know I needed a little kindness. I had no hair, but the “Bling” made me feel attractive again. Today my hair is growing back. The little earrings that could, still do make me feel better about myself and what I have gone through.

With Love
Michaela Quinlan

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Cathleen

To Some Special People :
At the end of a long nine month journey of an operation, chemo and radiation, at a time where every aspect of my femininity had been assaulted, you and the wonderful folks at Princeton's radiation oncology department wowed me with a gift of love and bling. You are special people bringing joy in a fun and beautiful way at a tough and scary time. I get lots of compliments on the sparkly earrings I selected and I share the store. If there is anything good to say about this journey, it is the people I have met along the way. Wishing you joy and happiness.

Cheers,
Cathleen

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Cheryl

I am a 42 year old mother of two boys (ages 13 and 9) who was diagnosed with a brain tumor while pregnant with my 9 year old son. I had brain surgery to remove that astrocytoma tumor 9 years ago and have been monitored closely ever since. I have always felt uneasy about things and certainly celebrated my 40th birthday. Unfortunately, this past September my "routine" MRI showed that the roots had acted up again. I had to have surgery again and this time the tumor was a grade 3 astrocytoma. My worst fears had been realized. I started radiation and chemotherapy shortly after our return to New Jersey (I had my surgery in North Carolina at Duke University).

My network of friends and family is incredible but your Operation Bling brought such joy to me. My dear friend was working on getting my wristwatch fixed for me so that I could keep an eye on when to take my medication. She was referred to your shop and it was there that she was able to grieve all that was happening to me. You immediately made her a "bling angel" and allowed her to have her pick of something beautiful for me. My friend could not wait to bestow upon me my bling! Retail therapy at its best. We both were thrilled and felt the beauty of the moment. (as I do every time I wear my beautiful necklace and retell this story). Cancer does have so many dark sides, but you bring light to the darkness and I am so thankful.

I hope to have a "bling party" once I am feeling better as I believe in your mission so much. I may have lost my hair, but I can still feel pretty and sparkle!

Thank you for making such a terrible time a lot brighter.

Love,
Cheryl

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Hi Chris:

I was so lucky enough to see the look on my mother-in-law's face as she picked out her “bling” at Overlook Hospital on her first day of Chemo. I knew about your organization but never saw first hand the smiles it puts on people's faces.

I would like to give back so can you give me more information about hosting a “Bling Party” and how it works?

I will always have your jewelry store in my heart as you were the ones about 8-10 years ago who said “yes this is a real diamond”. I brought into your store a stone that looked similar to my diamond that had fallen out of my engagement ring 3 months previously. My husband mowed over it week after week and finally one day it sparkled in the sun and he showed it to me. I thought it was just a fake stone that had fallen out of my daughter's play jewelry but no. The relief when your husband Bill told me that it was real and it fit right into my empty ring was priceless. What you are doing now is priceless.

Thank You and looking forward to hearing from you

Joan
New Providence NJ

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Dear Mr. and Mrs Ferdinand:

Today I completed my final chemo treatment for Breast Cancer when one the fabulous nurses at University Medical Center Princeton plopped down with three boxes and said it's your fina; treatment it's time to get blinged. I am a nurse myself and never heard of your foundation, and I just wanted to thank you for all you do and let you know how much you touched me on the last day of chemo. I will cherish my ring always. I am considered among the young survivors,and initially wondrered how this could happen, now I see how my life has been even more blessed with this fight.

Thank you for the hope that you bring cancer patients.
Sincerely,
Melanie

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Dear Mrs. Ferdinand,

On 8-21-09 I started a collection for O.B.F for my Bat Mitzvah project. My Bat Mitzvah is 4-21-12. I have had 2 lemonade stands plus my Aunt and Grandma each gave me money. But, my dad has contributed the most. He puts all of his pocket change in my bucket. I went to TD Bank today with my mom and we cashed in the change. We were both so surprised how much I have collected in one year. $91.02! I will continue to raise money for your foundation. Hope to see you soon with another big check!

Sincerely, Hannah

p.s. My dad has contacted Merck to see if they could match my contribution. (A note from Operation Bling, Merck has matched Hannah’s $91.02!)

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Thank you again an keep up the generous good work you are doing,

On Wednesday, my husband had his last radiation treatment for pancreatic cancer, when he came out, he told me to come back with him, so I did. To my pleasant surprise, I was told that there was a gift for me. I have been his caregiver since we found out about the cancer. I chose the beautiful butterfly pendant. I told my husband that was my gift for driving him every day back and forth to the hospital. Every time I look at the pendant, I think of the accomplishment my husband has achieved. He will still need more chemo but a milestone has been reached and my pendant is the proof of it.

I personally want to thank you for my pendant and for what you are doing to make this uncertain time more bearable. What woman doesn't like "bling"? Every woman I know likes to wear "bling" and you are just making it easier to bear the hardship.

Thank you again an keep up the generous good work you are doing,

Sincerely,
Laura

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Thanks for giving Joanne such a surprise and reason to smile

Last November a very close friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and so began our long, sad, trying and confusing journey through life with cancer. Needless to say everyone who knew Joanne was devastated and desperate to do whatever they could to help her. Joanne was my most stylish and “hip” of friends who always loved the best! She had gorgeous clothes, purses, and jewelry and loved to wear them all!! During one of her cancer treatments at the Carol Simon Center she was Blinged! I happened to be working that day so stopped in to see her during her treatment. When I arrived, Joanne was so excited and happy to show me her “Bling” and tell me about the experience. I thought what a wonderful foundation and how much happiness it brings to those so in need of a bit of joy. Then I started reading the information she had been left about Operation Bling and realized…..OH MY GOODNESS….its Chris and Bill Ferdinand!! I know you know how happy you have made so many, but I was there to see it and want you to know just how happy you made Joanne. Amazingly she was Blinged again during a hospitalization at Overlook and was just as happy and proud of her jewelry. Joanne has since lost her difficult battle and will be greatly missed, but her Bling lives on. Her sister-in-law Cindy is proudly wearing the beautiful ring Joanne was so proud to show-off! Your foundation is wonderful and you’ll be receiving a check in memory of Joanne from Peter and me.
You are amazing!!

Thanks for giving Joanne such a surprise and reason to smile
Bling!!
Holly

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To Chris and Bill Ferdinand

My name is Joyce, an advanced breast cancer patient at the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. In June I was hospitalized for the third time in just about five (5) weeks. I was down in spirit as I had just discovered that the cancer had spread to my brain. I usually look for anything positive in any situation, focus on that which is good and ask God to take over. However this time it was proving very difficult for me.

I was feeling very depressed and very somewhat frustrated. Then one day my Social Worker, Alyson, visited me with what I consider some of the most gorgeous pieces of jewelry. It was even more intriguing that I was given the privilege of choosing what I liked.

 

Not only did this gesture bring me one of the greatest moments of joy in my life, but it quickly helped to take me out of my state of self pity and remind me that there are people out there who care and will go to any length to lift of those of us who are sick and who will always find creative ways to remind us that there is always hope and a lot of love out there.

Thank you guys and God Bless you.
Joyce

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Operation Bling – You Rock! Thank you for all you do!

Dear Christine:

My name is Pamela, and I have been a cancer patient for almost three years now. Cancer certainly can have its fair share of ups and downs, but the surprise I received yesterday morning as a patient at Overlook Hospital from Operation Bling was one I will never forget.

I was admitted to Overlook on Tuesday and was only planning to stay overnight. However, I unexpectedly wound up staying an extra two days. Female cancer patients often feel naked, almost vulnerable, without their precious pieces of jewelry. I have a great sentimental attachment to my jewelry and dread removing it to be hospitalized or scanned.

When the nurse supervisor, Cathy, came in yesterday morning to “Bling Me.” I had no idea what to expect. I was mesmerized by the wonderful selection of Bling to choose from and impressed with the presentation of my gift choice in its organza pouch and wonderful story. I felt very special and overcome with a feeling of warmth and caring. It was a like getting a great big hug from someone who truly cares, and I was left with a strong feeling that I was not alone in this fight and that others were fighting right alongside me.

I selected a gorgeous pair of earrings and put them right in my naked ear lobes. Those earrings made me smile from ear to ear. I felt ready to face a new day.

I am back at work this morning and have shared the wonderful story of the Operation Bling Foundation with my fellow co-workers who were stunned that such a thing existed. They were lined up to admire my new earrings. A few times a year, our employer, The Township of Bloomfield, allows the employees to have a “dress down day.” We all donate money to wear casual clothing, and they select a charity for the donations to go to. I have spread the word and passed along your organization’s information so that the Operation Bling Foundation can be the beneficiary of the funds we raise from one of our next dress down days.

Thank you, again, for coming up with this awesome idea. My daughters (19 and 15) were thrilled with this special surprise for their mom. I believe that it helped them also feel less alone in this battle. We were all deeply touched by the story of your mom Ruth and your customer Barbara and how your organization was founded. You have the power to touch so many lives and hearts with the work that you are doing. I am very proud of you and your organization as I am sure your mom and your friend Barbara are too.

Very sincerely yours,
Pam
July 7, 2010

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Diane Wood and Brandy Johnson

We are among the newest of Christine and Bill Ferdinand’s Bling Angels. Our names are Brandy Johnson and Diane Wood. We are oncology social workers at Saint Clare’s Hospital. About six months ago, we heard about Operation Bling and thought, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could offer these gifts to the patients we work with?” We met Chris and Bill and ….

We have been blinging for several months now, and are so touched by the response of patients and their loved ones when we tell them the story of Operation Bling and ask them to choose a gift. Many of the gentlemen will say, “Oh, I don’t need anything. I don’t wear jewelry.” We reply, “Then choose something for your wife (or daughter, or someone who has helped you).” I recently had such a conversation with a man who was finishing his cancer treatment. He picked an angel pendant for his daughter, who is getting married next week. Another patient chose a piece and said, “I have a granddaughter. She can wear this one day and remember me when I’m not here to wear it.”

A bling gift brightens the day for a patient who may be discouraged, frightened and overwhelmed with their battle. It celebrates the moment when they are finished with their treatment. It tells them that someone cares and is praying for them.

For some the piece of bling they choose is a symbol of hope. For others, it is a way to thank a caregiver. For still others it is something to pass on and be remembered by. For us, the newest Bling Angels, it is our honor and a privilege to touch people’s lives in this way. Thank you, Chris and Bill, for making it all possible.

Love,

Diane Wood and Brandy Johnson
Sr. Oncology Counselors
Cancer Care at Saint Clare’s

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Lauren

This is Lauren, a friend of Stacy's and I wanted to take this time to thank you for introducing me to your bling products last year. I ordered matching earrings and necklaces for my bridal party to wear the day of my wedding (12/4/09).

I presented the girls with the "bling" during the rehersal dinner the night before and explained the operation to them. I cannot begin to tell you all of the dropped jaws that were around the room! Each girl wore the matching pair and were honored to be a part of Operation Bling! They all looked beautiful the day of the wedding and I could not have spent my money any better.

Using Operation Bling for bridal party gifts is not only a great way to make the girls shine, but to give back as well! If you would like to see pictures, let me know and I would be happy to send you some. I am also definitely interested in the wine tasting in Whippany so hopefully I will see you there!! Happy New Year and congratulations on all the success that Operation Bling has brought!

Love,
Lauren O'Toole (Eldridge)

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Carrie

I received my 'Bling' last week during one of my radiation treatment visits at Overlook and I cannot begin to tell what a special moment it was! The technician was so lovely and kind and really made me feel special. It is such a nice gesture and I am so grateful!

It's a great idea and obviously born of great thoughtfulness for people at a very tough time in their lives. Thank goodness for wonderful people like you and all the folks involved in Operation Bling!

Best Regards,
Carrie Gennuso

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Nicholas

During a recent stay at Morristown Memorial Hospital, a young lady from your Operation Bling presented my wife with a piece of jewelry. This was a very kind and thoughtful deed. Now we would like to "pay back" and hopefully a little more for someone else!

Thanks so much,
Nicholas

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Karen

I was recently hospitalized for recurrent ovarian cancer at Morristown Memorial Hospital. While I was there an Operation Bling representative came to my room with a beautiful piece of jewelry. This gift from Operation Bling made my day so much brighter and special because I knew that others cared.

I just wanted to thank Operation Bling for the joy brought to me and to other cancer patients. Enclosed is a donation so that Operation Bling can continue to bring joy and smiles to others.

Thank you,
Karen D.

ps. Very clever name, "Operation Bling"!

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Louise

Thanks for the amazing work you do. I was "Blinged" the 1st day of my radiation treatment at Overlook last January. It was not my happiest day; however I could have never imagined someone I had never met gave me such a special "just for fun" gift. It caught me completely off guard and made my heart smile. It brought me happiness just when I needed some happiness. I selected earrings and they always warm my heart when I wear them! I hope this donation will help you continue doing your special work.

Louise

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Deanna

Hi Chris,

My name is Deanna and I have been a patient over at Morristown Memorial and I just finished my last day of radiation when the nurses told me that they have a gift for me and that's when I found out about your operation bling. I was so taken back and your foundation is so wonderful I wanted you to know that and to tell you how much these things do brighten our day. Thank you

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Maria

The strides you've made, the joy you've shared, the lives you've touched are testament to your drive, your energy, your faith, your commitment, and your vision.

Congrats on coming so far so fast!

And congrats on becoming a Mother-in-law!

Love ya!
Maria

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Debbie H

Recently my dearest friend, Debbie L.. passed away after her 15 month battle with breast cancer. In early August she received a ring from Operation Bling at Morristown Memorial. I cannot tell you how much pleasure that ring gave her- it was all she talked about for weeks.

I was wondering if you could give me some information on Bling Party Fundraisers. I would like to do something in Debbie's memory and thought what better way to honor her than by helping carry on the gesture of kindness that gave her such pleasure during her struggle.

Thank you for all you do for the wonderful organization.
Debbie H.

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Adena

Hello Chris. Thank you so much for sending the newsletter, I love it! I have to let you know that since you were last here, we have "Blinged" 14 wonderful patients! Lucy Anne and Beth have taken to thier roles as Bling Angels and have been met with lots of hugs and kisses this week in exchange for your wonderful Bling! One particular patient's story tonight was especially touching... She is only 54 and was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago and had been taking her chemotherapy and doing everything as prescribed by her physician. She was very optimistic that the chemo would cure her cancer as her doctor had said. She was admitted to our unit yesturday with vague symptoms and today she found out that that the cancer has spread to her brain. When Lucy Anne went in tonight to give her some Bling she immediately began crying (as did her husband and her her two children who were also at the bedside) and they just couldn't have been happier as they said that this was the only nice news that they had gotten since they had been here! Everyone broke out in laughter and then hugged and it was a very special moment...

Thank you again for the wonderful gift of Operation Bling and the joy you have brought our patients!

Adena
University Medical Center at Princeton

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Cheryl

I want to tell you how impressed I am each time I read an OPERATION BLING Newsletter. I remember so clearly the day I was in your store, OPERATION BLING was just a thought at the time. It was the first few days that you had put the whole concept together. What a touching and caring and senOPERATION it has become. The self esteem it restores and the dignity it strengthens is so vital to getting well and living strong.

Judi and I often say to each other how rare it is to find your passion, develop it and live it to the best of your ability. Operation Bling shows all of us what prayer does. Thank you for the perseverance of your daily prayer time and for actively hearing the answer to your prayers.

See you soon, Happy Summer,
Cheryl

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Karen

I am battling cancer for almost a year now and I was blinged last week at Morristown Memorial Hospital while receiving a blood transfusion. The nurse came up to me and said "have you been blinged?" I thought now what are they going to do to me? When she came over with the jewelry boxes and closed the curtain around me I was thrilled to see what she meant. Your jewelry is beautiful. I chose a pair of earrings and love them! I want to thank you for what you and your husband for what you are doing. It certainly put a smile on my face.

Thanks so much,
Karenl

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Lynda

My father, George, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in October 2008. We are pleased to report that Dad is fighting the good fight and is amazing us and his doctors on a daily basis. He has been rooting on his grandchildren at baseball and soccer games this Spring and he has found some time to get down to A.C. to roll the bones and play a few hands of black jack. He is eating well and giving Mom a hard time, so we know that he is feeling better!

While we are relieved that Dad is doing so well these days, we will never forget that Friday afternoon in October when our father's soon-to-be oncologist told him that he had Acute Myeloid Leukemia and that he needed to undergo immediate and intensive chemotherapy. You could have heard a pin drop in that room as all the air seemed to be sucked out with the diagnosis. For the next month and a half, Dad went through pure hell and back. He taught each of us that you can accomplish anything when your will to live is rock solid strong.

One day, in the middle of Dad's hellish hospital stay, a Bling Angel from the Operation Bling Foundation appeared with the box o'bling! Nothing gave Dad greater pleasure at that moment than to go "shopping" to find just the right piece of jewelry to give to his wife, to thank her for being there for him through the many highs and lows of his treatment roller coaster. When Dad gave Mom the bling, they both had tears in their eyes, overwhelmed by how much joy one piece of jewelry could bring. We were overwhelmed that one small gesture could restore a sense of normalcy to our lives when they seemed perennially turned upside down. For that, we will be eternally grateful to Chris and Bill Ferdinand and Operation Bling.

Thank you,
Lynda

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Paula

Christine - This is about the fourth time I've begun to email you and for some reason or another, I never sent it. Since this is two months overdue, I will definitely complete it!

A little bit of info about me . . . Almost five years ago I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is cancer of the plasma cells (or bone marrow). There is no cure for myeloma but it can be put into "remission." After undergoing a stem cell transplant in August of 2005 at Hackensack Hospital, my disease is now stable, or as I prefer to say, I am in remission. I do not have to take any medication or chemo at this time but I am tested bi-monthly and receive a three-hour treatment of Aredia which is to help my bones.

Late February I was sitting in the myeloma clinic receiving my treatment, feeling sorry for myself when I was approached by a nurse, the social worker and the front desk receptionist. At first I panicked that they were going to give me bad news but they were laughing as they walked toward me carrying a shopping bag. Much to my surprise I was blinged!!!! They told me about your program, gave me my choice of jewelry (I picked out a beautiful pair of earrings) and asked if I wanted to be put on your prayer list. Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled. Since I was young I have always had lots of bling. My son worked for Tiffany for over five years and then for David Yurman for three years. Need I say more?????

I think what you are doing with your program is absolutely fantastic. Cancer is not only a terrible disease but it is also a very lonely disease, no matter how many friends or family you may have. No one can understand how you feel when you look in the mirror at the sunken eyes, the bald head and the chemo spots on your face. What was once beautiful to someone is now a nightmare in your own opinion. What better way to make someone feel good about themselves then to give them some bling to make them sparkle and shine.

I found you on Facebook and joined your group which peaked my sister's curiosity. She read your website, also joined your group and has been emailing you since. I cannot thank you enough for making me and so many others feel beautiful again. You are obviously such a wonderful and giving person!

I recently took early retirement so that I could enjoy the rest of my life to the fullest and to pay it forward to so many people who have helped me during my lifetime. Please let me know what I can do to help your and Operation Bling.

My deepest thanks for making me shine. God Bless You!
Paula

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Brian

I wanted to share a unique experience I have had from Operation Bling's inspirational stories and individual success stories I have read over the past year. My name is Brian Capo; I am a family friend of the Ferdinands (went to high school with their son, Pete), Rutgers '08 Grad, US Army Military Police Staff Sergeant, and lost my mother to AIDS and a rare form of cancer back in November 2007. The Ferdinands have been there for all of these events and have supported me as if I were their own child, and with this same drive and desire to help others I have witnessed the awesome power of Operation Bling. Not until this past week did I share with Mrs. Ferdinand the impact Operation Bling's mission has had on my spiritual and emotional safeguarding while deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom this year. The amazing dedication the Ferdinands, their volunteers, local businesses and of course the "Blingees" gave me strength and a smile during times where those things run scarce. Operation Bling is an amazingly unique, special, awesome, fun, decorative, empowering way to show support to patients during extremely difficult times.

I salute the Blingers, Blingees, businesses and supporters of Operation Bling. I thank the Ferdinands for showing just what the human heart is capable of, especially during times that I had clouded/tunnel vision in Baghdad. I plan on becoming involved in the Blinging with Operation Bling, and just wanted to take this moment to share the impact this inspirational program has had on my life...from across the Globe!

Thank you for all that you do. Hooah and keep "Blingin!"

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Elisa

My name is Elisa Stefanski, and recently I had the privilege and pleasure of being blinged. Although I have been fighting Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer for 3 years I was never hospitalized until a month ago. My stay at Morristown Memorial Hospital was on the oncological floor. No stay at the hospital is fun, but its harder on this floor, There are no plants or flowers allowed so there's definitely a lack of color and beauty. My stay was only a week, but a couple days after I arrived something magical happened. A woman came to my bedside and said she had a present for me.

When I asked her what she meant she explained that she was from Operation Bling and told me I cold pick out any piece of jewelry I liked. She then opened large jewelry cases with rings, bracelets and necklaces. I was shocked and so excited; everything she had was so sparkly and beautiful. I picked a ring with a lot of bling. I was actually smiling even though I was at the hospital. She brought a smile to my face, hugged me and told me to enjoy because I deserved it. I asked more about Operation Bling and she told me the story. I am touched by the dedication and generosity of the Ferdinands. My friend and I went to their jewelry store and visited them. I told them how happy they made me. I slept every night with my ring on and every morning I woke up I looked at the sparkle of my bling ring and smiled. I can't thank them enough, and want to spread the word of Operation Bling. To help, my friend and I are going to have a bling party so that even more people may help in this rewarding cause. I can’t wait to help expand Operation Bling and spread the much needed smiles to as many patients as possible. Chris and Bill- I've been blinged and feel blessed too!!!!!

All my love
Elisa Stefanski

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Terry

Bill and I went and visited a customer at her home yesterday and Blinged her.....it was the most amazing fun visit ever......words can't really describe it......Terry has brain cancer.....the last of many sorts of cancers that she has battled and warded off.....this time....not so much winning the battle is going on.....she called me yesterday at our store and asked us to come over......bald and bed-ridden, hospice, hospital bed, round the clock nursing, grown children and grandchildren surrounding her......it was a house filled with love and laughter!....She hugged and kissed us with so much love.....She and her husband have been married 57 years. He is such a good soul.....and we got to be a part of it.....and so did Bling!! She was so funny.....what a delightful visit....her eyes twinkled with so much merriment when she spoke of how she met her husband and how gorgeous he was! ....what a good life she has had....five children in seven years!!...seen the world....a long and loving marriage that was very full! For me, she kept calling me Chrisy....no one has done that since my own Mom who passed away in 1991. Terry didn't know that about my name....such a visit filled with love! Terry did tell me that she had all of her jewelry put into their safety deposit box because the house is filled with so many people coming and going to take care of her...She told me she now understood why our friend (Barbara) said she had missed her Bling.....because she now did too!!!...We left her all be-jeweled and blinged......and she couldn't have been more pleased!!! She picked a stunning sapphire and diamond looking ring. I put a diamond looking bracelet onto her wrist too. I had already sent home a pair of stud earrings once with her husband for her which she had on. She then picked up a petite diamond looking ring that reminded her of a ring that her husband gave her many years ago and no longer had. She had such a starry eyed look about her as she recalled those past times when she had received that ring....I took that ring and put it onto her finger too! Bling is truly blessing Bill and me!

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JG

I am so thrilled with my wonderful new Bling and all it represents...What a wonderful, healing concept and the presentation and packagin are perfect! This is perhaps the most meaningful gift of my life! I will wear it every day. You've made me very happy!

with love
JG

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Helen

Dear Chris:

I believe "Operation Bling Foundation" will be a lifeline for many women! Your desire to bring happiness to those suffering is truly a witness of God's love. You were raised by a woman who loved deeply and her favorite statement was the only question God will ask of us when we enter into the next world is: "How have you loved" Your Operation Bling Foundation is loving those who are in pain.

I am a recipient of your "love" and Operation Bling Foundation and my ear rings bring a smile to my face each time I wear them. How many others are experiencing the same inner joy - too numerous to count I am sure.

Your generous foundation was founded on bringing joy to others and letting them know they are loved and not alone in their journey with cancer.

I hope and pray that "Operation Bling Foundation" will someday be all over the United States - and with your desire to love others I am confident this will happen. I am a recipient and also a donor to your foundation.

It is a "joy" to encourage others to donate and spread Operation Bling Foundation to our entire State of New Jersey and to our country.

May the Spirit of Love continue through your efforts of building your Operation Bling Foundation.

Love and blessings always,

Helen H. Bolil

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Christine Ferdinand

I was asked to bring “Bling Gifts” to showcase Operation Bling Foundation at the ribbon cutting ceremony and open house for the new Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Hospital one Saturday this past Fall. Later on in the morning the oncologist Dr. Stanzione comes up to me and pulls out his patient list out of his pocket. He proceeds to tell me that he had a patient who would be a great candidate for being “Blinged” and how would he go about arranging that? I say….well; you can do it now if you like! I knew all of the nurses around me all had posts at this open house so I didn’t want to ask them so I just told him that he could do it! He looked at me a little puzzled and then asked how he would pick what to bring to her. I told him he would bring all three boxes…..filled with rings, earrings, and pendants….and the patient gets to pick….Oh, he says…then he asks me if I could come back on Tuesday and do it and if that was not too much trouble. I asked him if he wanted me to come with him right then and we can “bling” his patient together! Oh, did Dr. Stanzione light up! He turned to his wife, Kathy, who is an absolute sweetheart too, and asked her if she wanted to come with us to “bling” a patient!!! Off the three of us went…Dr. Stanzione practically running through the hallways carrying three black cases filled with “Bling Gifts” ….and his wife and me trailing behind him trying to keep up with him….down the halls, up and down the staircases….and I am NOT old…okay, I am 50!...BUT, I can run!!! ….and run we had to do to keep up with him!!! He was so excited…it was a pleasure to watch him!!!

We enter Rita’s room….she was sitting in the chair …she had the typical hospital gown on with her shoulders hanging out…she had IVs in both arms and bags and bags hanging off of poles…Dr. Stanzione announces to her that we have a gift for her from Operation Bling! He is so excited and says to me…..oh, you better explain it….I tell her about us….I go and wash my hands….I come back into the room and Dr. Stanzione is sitting on her bed with all of the boxes open helping Rita choose a “Bling Gift” and he is clearly having a lot of fun with it!!! ….then he asks me to help her figure out which finger size ring would work for her. I crouch down in front of her and he is on the bed next to me and she is still in her chair…Rita, the recipient, says. I choose this one….I want this one…she picked a triple row, channel set ring, alternating with pink and white CZs…she puts it on her finger dreamily and announces that she had been looking for a pinky ring just like this one and hadn’t found one yet…and that this one is exactly what she had been wanting!! Dr. Stanzione announces to her….Wait until you see the packaging!!! So I take the ring off of her finger and place it in the Lucite crystal box and into the white organza pouch! I explain the laminated Bling Card with the inspirational poem, our logo, and contact information. I ask her too if she would like to be on our prayer list and about how I actually need permission from the patients for that….she says yes and that she can use all of the prayers that she can get! She puts the ring back on her finger and is filled with smiles!!!

What I had not noticed in our flurry to keep up with Dr. Stanzione was that Janina Hecht, the hospital’s PR person and her photographer had also trailed us….I had not even noticed because I was so busy trying to keep up with Dr. Stanzione…I have no idea how they even noticed that we had left the gathering let alone kept up with us!!! They asked for a photo op and Rita at first said no, that she looked like a witch! After being “Blinged”, they asked her again. Rita asked me what I thought and how did she look. I fixed her hospital gown so her shoulders were not hanging out and told her honestly that I thought she looked beautiful!!! Honestly, I swear to God that Rita’s color had changed from the time when we had first come into her room to after her whole being “Blinged” experience! She was rosy and smiled and sparkle-y in her eyes!!! It really was amazing to me….one couldn’t not notice the change! So we had a fun photo op with her…..Dr. Stanzione with his cute bow tie and Rita!!! It was great! Dr. Stanzione was so excited when we left her room! A truly heartwarming experience was had by all!!

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Lynn

Hi Chris,

I'm loving my "Bling Gift"! I haven't taken it off my finger since you gave it me. I'm happy in the knowledge there are "Angels" like you and others who care about those of us who just want to survive to enjoy the kindness of others.

Thanks for passing on the info from Barbara about the HealthWell Foundation. It's worth a try, I'm willing to look for help anywhere it can be found. I will keep Barb on my prayer list too, it's through prayer I honestly feel I am still around. Each day, I ask the Lord not only to keep me and other cancer patients in his care, I also ask him to care and watch over my doctors. They need his guidance to make the right decisions regarding my care. I've added you and Bill too for your generosity and great heart.

On a another positive note, Friday evening I was out with three other cancer survivors I met while undergoing radiation. Two are women, one with breast cancer, one with brain and a gentleman with prostate cancer. When they saw my bling they were so crazy for it they've given me money to pick them out four pieces. One of the husbands is paying for a piece for his daughter who had a tumor on her kidney.

I'm happy they've trusted me to pick their items for them...they want to wear their "Bling" when they go on their vacations to Boca next week. I'll be in sometime this week; I'm looking forward to doing this for them plus passing the word around about the foundation.

They are thrilled with your concept of how one little piece of sparkling sunshine can turn a sad day into a day of hope, love and kindness. Thank you Chris for all you're doing for cancer patients.

Love,
Lynn Smith

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Dana

Hi Chris,

I met you at the Acme today in the check out line. I wanted to quickly let you know that what you are accomplishing with Operation Bling is nothing short of amazing, and most certainly inspiring! Cancer hits close to home for so many people, but organizations like yours bring hope and smiles to those affected. I am excited to pass your website along to my cousin Patty who is being treated for breast cancer, and I just wanted to thank you for taking such a wonderful idea and making it a reality for so many deserving people. It was a pleasure meeting you, and I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving! :-)

Sincerely,

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Maryann

Operation Bling entered my life after a family friend lost a loved one to cancer. We made the appropriate donations to the very worthy research foundations, but a few months later, I still felt a desire to express our family’s love and concern in a more personal way. Flowers? A dedication of some sort? I felt indifferent about most of the things I came up with, yet hopeful that I would find just the right thing. But what? It was at this very point in time that I went into Ferdinand Jewelers to pick up an order. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I saw the lovely display of beautiful, contemporary pieces and inquired about them. Chris was more than happy to share her vision for this project and just what Operation Bling was about. Ingenious idea! Surely Heaven-sent!

After much deliberating, I chose a beautiful cross and as it was wrapped, I felt unsure as to whether or not I should include any reference to the cause for the recipient. This family had been through enough…did they need another reminder? The jewelry in itself would be blessing enough, I was sure, and knowing I was contributing to a worthy cause made me feel good about this purchase. At the last moment, I decided to include the tasteful Operation Bling card that explained how proceeds would be used.

With some uncertainty, I dropped the pretty bag off on the family’s doorstep with the mother’s name on the included card. I did not know her well, although she was the sweetest person, someone I knew I would love to have the opportunity to know better. As it turned out, this small gesture touched her heart and we have now become very good friends. She has worn her cross every time I have seen her and she says with a smile that she “loves it”. This sweet gift has been able to express to her my care and concern for her and that of her family in a way words could not. Thanks to Operation Bling, I have had the privilege of helping to bring a smile to the faces of cancer patients, as well as those who love them!

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Meg

“Two of our Bling Angels made a house call to Pat this past June, who just came out of cancer-related surgery, to deliver a Bling Gift. During the winter months of Pat’s battle, she removed a glove and lost her three-stone dinner ring. Operation Bling Foundation gave the Angels a random assortment of gifts for Pat to choose from, not sure of her style. The very first box she opened happened to be a three-stone dinner ring that looked exactly like the one she had lost months before. There are other Angels at work it seems.” - Meg, Bling Angel

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Kathy

“Three years ago the news spread through the school system where I work that the younger sister (R.) of one of my students had been diagnosed with leukemia. R. was in second grade at the time. Fund raisers were held, the school and the community rallied around the family. I had the pleasure of having R. in my class this year during her third year of treatment. What a trooper! It was during the school year that my own sister was inspired to start the Operation Bling Foundation. I asked R. what she thought of the idea of giving sparkling jewels to women and girls being treated for cancer. She told me she had been given a Teddy bear during her stays and very much liked the idea of jewels. I consulted with her a few more times as we got ready to start our mission. As the school year came to an end Operation Bling was ready to start the giving of gifts. R. was presented with one of our first, a butterfly necklace. The butterfly is the symbol of hope. At our school we have a national award winning butterfly garden that was started to honor one of our teachers who lost her battle with breast cancer. R. wore her necklace to school with a big smile, how beautiful she looked.” - Kathy, Bling Angel

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Michele, the patient liaison on the oncology floor at Morristown Memorial Hospital....

Hello Christine,

Well, today was the first official "Bling" day here on Franklin 4. Meg, your intern came in for a while to accompany me and explain why and how Operation Bling started.

We truly graced so many women with beautiful jewelry. The outpouring of gratification was remarkable. One patient even said that she was having such a horrible day and that this was such an unbelievable gesture and immediately smiled and felt so much better. She immediately put the necklace that she had chosen on!

This was so great for us too, to see these ladies smile! We laughed and joked around about the size of the stones that you would have never known these patients were ill. I am so excited about this project and hope that you continue to receive donations so that we can carry out this project forever!

Thanks again for what you have done!
Michele

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Patty, a patient at Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ....

Dear Christine,

My name is Patty and I am a cancer patient being treated at Overlook Hospital on the 3rd floor. Recently I was presented a beautiful ring from your Operation Bling Foundation by RN Kathy.

I can't express how uplifiting it was to receive this ring and be able to wear it, not only in the hospital, but all the time. Due to the amount of steroids I receive during my chemo treatments my fingers have swollen so none of my other rings fit any longer. It makes me feel so good to be able to wear a ring again.

It is special people like you that truly make a difference in a person's life, even if you have never met them. You have touched my life and I am truly grateful. Thank you for your generosity.

Sincerely,
Patty

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Megan

I met Mrs. H. my freshman year of high school… she was always a fun, caring, and loving teacher. I then took journalism in my senior year, just so I could have her one more time before I graduated. We kept in touch after I graduated, and still do… it’s been 14 years now since I met this amazing woman.

On February 1, 2008 I received the news that Mrs. H. had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I cried when I first got the news because she is one of those ladies that is nice to everyone she meets and is just a really neat person. She went through a round a chemo, but it didn’t do enough. She then had a mastectomy. She’s now in another round of chemo.

While all of this was happening Operation Bling was being formed. I gave Mrs. H’s name and some back ground information to my aunt and founder of Operation Bling, Christine Ferdinand, and we decided that Mrs. H. needed some “BLING” to help through all of these treatments. A pink heart with a smaller heart inside it was sent to her along with all of the information. The response I received was: “Made me cry today you silly special girl friend forever and ever.” This of course made me cry, because I was so glad I could help in some way from so far away (she’s in TX). She hopes that one day she’ll be able to give back to Operation Bling in some way.

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