LITTLE ROCK, AR - It's hard to know what it takes to fight cancer, unless you've been there. At just 30 years old, Little Rock entreprenuer Heather Owens has been there.
"It's like a club. A club you never dream you want to be a part of," explains Heather Owens.
A lot has changed since KARK first introduced to you to Owens in the fall of 2012. The then 28 year-old was fighting Stage III Estrogen Positive Breast Cancer. Her hair has grown back and she's added a new title to her portfolio.
"It's a surreal feeling," she says.
The interior designer and owner of Georgia James Creative is now a breast cancer survivor.
"It was like a tornado for a year and you come out OK on the other side," says Owens.
Still surrounded by reminders of that storm, Owens is on a new mission.
"Either you can be sad and let it take over a year of your life or you can make something of it and make it your purpose, your passion," she says.
Dissappointed in the lack of resources and support groups for young cancer patients, Owens started a non-profit called Fighting Fancy, targeting young cancer patients ages 15-39. As Owens and her husband Dereck began blogging about her journey, Heather made her first care package.
"I ended up giving her a bag of stuff that helped me through chemo. Just that small response from her that I could like help someone else who was younger than me, sadly, that was worth it to me," says Owens.
Thanks to a successful first fundraiser and a partnership with UAMS, in one year, Fighting Fancy has provided 1,000 Arkansas cancer patients with chemo bags. Each one is filled with up to $300 worth of merchandise all donated from individuals and businesses across the country.
"A plastic surgeon donated this breast binder," Owens explains.
Some items are high end, even custom-made products, like OPI Fighting Fancy nail polish. It also includes the signature tank top Owens wore during each chemotherapy. Scarlet Clothing can't keep them in stock.
"It stands for a group of women," she says.
Fighting Fancy is now flourishing beyond the borders of Arkansas.
"Florida, Pennsylvania, Chicago, England the country," says Owens.
While she may not know any of the women she's helping, each bag she sends has a personal touch from Owens.
"I just write them a note and tell them I'm thinking about them. It's just one person has received a bag and word of mouth, keeps going," she says.
To apply or nominate someone to receive a Fighting Fancy bag, click here.
Rock the Runway 2014 is a benefit for Fighting Fancy and the UAMS Cancer Institute. It's set for June 19.
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