“Our business, White Empathy Candles, emerged out of a desire to create something in honour of my mum, Carol, who passed away last year from a very rare form of cancer, says Megan. “My husband, Ryan, and I were inspired by the incredible impact the latest medical treatments had on my mum’s battle with cancer. She was given three months to live but thanks to new treatments she stayed with us for over 15 months longer.
We were also encouraged by the hundreds of messages of ‘Light & Love’ that Mum’s family and friends posted on a blog that we created for her whilst she was sick. People often found it hard to know what to say when Mum was going through such a tough battle with cancer. The mantra of wishing her ‘Light & Love’ became an easy way for people to post their love and support when many couldn’t find the right words to show how much they cared. Together, we would often light a candle and read all the beautiful messages posted on her blog.
This is how White Empathy Candles was born. Every box has the message ‘Because sometimes words don’t seem enough, a gift for you of Light & Love’ and we make a donation towards medical research into major illnesses such as cancer. Candles are not only beautiful but as a gift, they are more enduring than flowers so we felt they were the perfect fundraising vessel to support charities focused on medical research.
Our ultimate goal for the business is to raise to $1m for charity in honour of Mum by her 10 year anniversary.
Mum was an incredibly generous and loving woman. She was a nurse and my father is an Orthopaedic Surgeon so we have always been a part of the medical community and very passionate about supporting it, particularly medical research. She was an incredibly devoted wife and mother, I heard so many times growing up people exclaim “your mother is amazing” and “I don’t know how she does it” and it is only now that I am a mother myself, that I understand how truly amazing she was. I could write volumes about her but she really was the epitome of ‘Light & Love’.
Mum was diagnosed with a very rare form of malignant melanocytoma, with tumours in her brain and central nervous system, primarily affecting the meninges. We had doctors from the Mayo Clinic in the US assisting with her treatment because there were very few documented cases of Mum’s cancer.
Cancer was brutal, unfair and really sad but she was incredibly stoic, brave and loving through the whole thing. She had such a strong spirit and fought hard right until the very end – we were often left in awe of her strength.
Mum ended up proving wrong the doctor’s original prognosis on three months largely because of the leading-edge medical treatments that were made available to her. We really believe these treatments, that are the product of the latest medical research, gave us the precious gift of more time.
I lost my best friend and even now, nearly a year later, it can take my breath away that she is gone. I was angry that such a beautiful, generous person had to suffer such a ruthless and relentless disease.
The most constructive way to deal with my grief, so that it doesn’t overwhelm me, is to channel it into something positive in her honour – White Empathy Candles.
This is why I am also so passionate about supporting charities such as ACRF as they provide real hope for a better future through the treatment and potential cure of cancer.
When Mum was sick we saw first-hand what leading edge treatments could do, we would not have had access to them without medical research. I also experienced the false hope that is peddled to those affected by cancer. We tried everything from magnets to alkaline water and a sugar-free diet but the reality is that cancer research is what makes the real difference.
Cancer will affect every single one of us in some way, whether directly or someone we love. Cancer research and the people who devote their lives and incredible talent to this field are our modern day angels. They are our source of hope, so they deserve our support. Every little bit matters, so give now because you never know what they may save you from in the future.” – ACRF supporters Megan and Ryan O’Donnell
White Empathy Candles is Ryan and Megan’s business. It is Australian owned and operated and the candles are currently only available online. White Empathy Candles offer two beautiful candles: Passionfruit & Citron and Pomegranate & French Vanilla. Upon purchase, the buyer can select one of three charities including Australian Cancer Research Foundation. Click here to visit White Empathy Candles for more information.