Pediatric Cancer Survivor, Annabelle Grace and handbag designer, Kelly Wynne, joined Steph to discuss their partnership as a beautiful way to give back during Pediatric Cancer Awareness month.
Annabelle Grace’s story
Annabelle Grace (AG) was living the life of a healthy, active nine year old softball player attending Bear Creek Elementary in Colleyville, Texas when she began experiencing some weakness in her left arm. AG had an X-ray, MRI, and bone biopsy. On December 19, 2019, she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in her left humerus. Osteosarcoma is the oldest pediatric cancer on record and has not had any new treatment options approved in over 40 years.
AG’s mom Leslie says, “Our family knew we had a tough battle ahead. We claimed the hashtag “#AGTough” and proclaimed Galatians 6:9 over our fight.”
On December 20th, AG had her medi port placed and began chemotherapy. She lost her hair, battled weight loss, began homebound school, and received blood/platelet transfusions all while enduring 18 harsh rounds of chemotherapy. She was in the hospital continually for 15 months. In the middle of chemotherapy (March 2020), she had limb salvage surgery to remove the cancerous portion of her arm which included her entire humerus and rotator cuff. This major surgery was performed to save the use of her arm and insert an allograft bone from a donor. She spent over four months in a sling with no use of her arm. She then began physical therapy which will continue indefinitely. She has limited use of her left arm but always focuses on what she CAN do even if that comes with modifications. AG finished chemotherapy on August 6, 2020. She began a trial immunotherapy drug with the goal of preventing relapse. It was administered during weekly half day clinic sessions until February 26, 2021. At the end of her treatment, she received the gift of a French bulldog named “Victory” that marked her victory over cancer.
AG received clear chest CT results (osteosarcoma typically shows relapse in the lungs) in August 2020 and again in December 2020. During her six month scans in February 2021 a small nodule was found in her left lung. AG’s mom, Leslie says, “We waited and prayed for six weeks. In April 2021, AG’s follow up chest CT showed the nodule was GONE! Claiming it as a miracle, AG began an active summer being thankful for the blessing of every day!”
In August, AG had her one year post chemo scans and they were clear. She started 6th grade at Heritage Middle School and enjoys tennis, theater and does weekly physical therapy for her arm. She has scans again in October and ever 3 months ongoing.
“AG continues to walk every step with joy and strength from Jesus. She finds a way to make every hospital stay, clinic visit, and doctor appointment a party and brings light to everyone she meets. Whether it’s decorating the hospital room, crafting for hours, dressing to match the theme she chose for the week or creating games to entertain the oncology floor, AG finds joy. She believes by faith that God has a plan and a purpose for good in every step she must take to battle cancer. Close to the end of AG’s treatment she asked ‘what’s next for my story?’. Our family began praying what we call “what’s next” prayers. We believe our partnership with Kelly Wynne and Salood is part of “what’s next” for AG’s story to increase awareness and funding for childhood cancer as well as help families battling. Our family’s message through this childhood cancer journey is ‘You are loved and your life matters’. #AGtough” -Leslie Bartel
AG has 2 brothers: Sean Ryan (9) and John Wyatt (5) her Mom and Dad are Eric and Leslie Bartel and her French bulldog is named Victory.
AG’s Partnership with Kelly Wynne and Salood
When Salood reached out to Kelly Wynne in January of 2021, they leapt at the opportunity. Salood was a perfect match for their new Balcony Brand commitment and they were thrilled about the opportunity to use their platform to not only create this one in a lifetime experience for Annabelle Grace but to also raise funds and awareness for other families facing pediatric cancer. #ThatsAWynne
Kelly says, “We first started working with Annabelle Grace and her mom, Leslie in March. As a female run business whose leadership team is made up of all moms we were not only touched by AG’s determination, spirit and pure joy for life, we were equally inspired by Leslie. I’m not sure we’ve ever seen Leslie without a smile on her face. We knew that we needed to create something inspired by AG’s journey but dedicated to the love between a mother and daughter. There was no question, we were going to create an AnnaBell Grace Mama + Me Set.”
AG needed no assistance during the design and planning meetings. She knew her style and the look she was going for right away. Luckily for us AG’s attitude matches the Kelly Wynne brand of bold designs and unique materials. The toughest decision was deciding which fabulous materials to use. Designing the bag took no time at all, AG knew exactly what she wanted and impressed our design team by adding suggestions like a strap that can shorten and an interior slip pocket for storage.
Wynne continues, “With Kelly Wynne being in Austin and Annabelle Grace in Dallas and the restrictions placed by COVID, we had to do all of our design and planning meetings virtually. AG of course made the best out of every meeting but we knew we wanted to do something in person to make this a truly memorable experience. We decided instead of just showing her the final product over zoom, we wanted to host a product reveal party. On July 27, we found the perfect outdoor space and surprised AG in person with her final product.”
Kelly Wynne is honored to be a partner with Salood and can’t wait for the official launch of the Annabelle Grace Mama + Me on Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021 during Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. 60% of proceeds will be going back to Salood, to be used for scholarships for families currently facing financial hardships as a result of pediatric cancer treatments. The goal is to raise over $15,000 through the sale of the Annabelle Grace Mama + Mini for Salood during our campaign. You can support the campaign by:
- Purchasing the Annabelle Grace Mama ($128)
- Purchasing the Annabelle Grace Mini ($98)
- Purchasing the Annabelle Grace Mama + Mini Set ($226)
- Purchasing an Annabelle Grace Mini to be donated to a child currently going through pediatric cancer treatment this fall. ($98)
- Making a donation to Salood through our website when you purchase any Kelly Wynne products during September.
For more information of to make a purchase in support go to KellyWynne.com/Salood