When Jenna Lindman was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma the day after her 24th birthday, she was devastated. Four years later, she’s cancer free. But she will never forget the struggle and hopelessness that plagued her during her chemotherapy. “I remember when I went through chemo, it was the toughest thing I had ever faced,” said Jenna.
Even though her friends and family always supported her, she still found herself feeling isolated by her struggle with cancer. Yet simple cards and wishes from strangers who had heard about her struggle and wanted to wish her well ended up making all the difference. “There was something very special about someone who didn’t know me that wanted to say, ‘Hey, I hope you’re doing alright,’” Jenna added.
Knowing what an impact the kindness of strangers had made in her own journey, Jenna decided that she wanted to do the same for others battling cancer. That’s when she founded the IgniteHope candle company. The non-profit is aiming to create hope and empowerment in individuals who are facing a cancer diagnosis and/or undergoing treatment for cancer. These candles are designed to be lit anytime that feelings of sadness, defeat, or anguish seem overwhelming. Once the candles are lit, three handwritten messages of love, support, and encouragement begin to appear as the candle burns.
IgniteHope sells candles through the online craft outlet Etsy. For every candle they sell, they donate one to someone who’s life has been touched by cancer. In the last year alone, IgniteHope has made almost 1,000 candles. “That’s about 3,000 empowering messages that we’ve sent out to people,” Jenna said in an interview with a local news crew. “That’s pretty cool to think about.” Visit www.etsy.com/shop/ignitehope to see what items are available, and visit www.ignitehopecandles.org to learn more about Jenna’s quest to inspire others to face their cancer with astounding hope.