Ringing the bell is a momentous occasion for any cancer survivor, and one local man wants to give those people the chance to remember it for life.
David Poluck, owner of Luray Gems – Northern Jewellery, recently launched the “I Rang the Bell” initiative – a jewellery line which allows cancer survivors the chance to have a keepsake of their milestone.
Poluck started making cancer-related jewellery years ago when his sister passed away from cancer. His first piece was the ribbon ring, and proceeds from it went to cancer research. Then, back in the early part of March or April of this year, a long-time customer of his came in expressed that she had been diagnosed with cancer, telling Poluck she didn’t think she’d get to ring the bell.
“And one of the things is…I’ve had friends ring the bell, my sister never got the chance to do it, and it was just something that this lady’s words stuck in my head, so I went online and I started thinking ‘Well I wonder if there’s anything online that comes up for a memento or something of a milestone for ringing the bell?’ and nothing had come up,” he told SaultOnline.
“So then I thought ‘okay’ so then I started playing around with the 3D modelling on AutoCAD and came up with a bell design with “I Rang the Bell” and it was just nice. It’s about the size of a quarter. Once I did a production model and we got it working and it actually is workable to be reproduced.”
After designing the bell, a few nurses from the hospital came to look at them and told him to get in touch with the hospital.
“It’s kind of expanding the first idea of the ribbon ring to move to the next, which was the ‘I Rang the Bell,'” he said.
After talking with Giselle Chiarello at the hospital and the people from the gift shop, they decided to make it a fundraiser, raising money for the hospital, as well as awareness and a mementos for passing a milestone.
Poluck said Sault Area Hospital is the “flagship” for this initiative, but he’s in talks with other hospitals, including in Sault Michigan.
“I’d like to expand it out as far as possible. Because it’s not just raising cancer money here, it’s just something that needs to be done.”
Bell charms can be purchased online at the Luray website or in the giftshop at the hospital. $15 from each purchase goes towards cancer research.