GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., — Holly Freese never imagined she’s be in the jewelry business. Three years ago, she was working in advertising in downtown Chicago when suddenly everything changed.
Her close friend, Mike Kacynski, died shortly after being diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer.
“It was a three month battle. He lost his battle three months after he found out. He was only 29,” Freese told FOX 17 News. “It just inspired me to create this company in his honor.”
Freese founded “Expression Rings of Hope” in 2010, crafting handmade rings and accessories for awareness.
“The different colors symbolize the different types of cancer awareness ribbon colors,” explained Freese. “Just remember a loved one, or give it to someone as a gift that may be battling just to lift up their spirits and tell them to keep trucking on.”
The motto of the company is “bling for a cause.” Portions of every sale go to benefit cancer research. So far, more than $7,000 thousand dollars has been given to fund a cure.
“It just grew with tons of celebrity support, at the Golden Globes, Sundance, it’s just been a ride,” said Freese. “Every year, the more I grow, the more I want to donate more.”
Freese is planning her first charity golf tournament this month to contribute even more to a cure. The “Tournament of Hope Golf Tournament” is scheduled for June 22nd at Thornapple Pointe Golf Club in Grand Rapids. 100% of the proceeds will go to benefit Susan G. Komen For The Cure West Michigan.
“We’re looking to have a good day and party, but also raise money for the cause,” said Freese.
There are still spots open for the Tournament of Hope. For more information, click here.