Thank You Contemporary Ceramic Studios Association (CCSA)

Mary, Jensen, and Jackie (from left to right) traveled to St. Charles, Missouri for the annual CCSA convention.

For the second year in a row, Believe Big was chosen as their charity of choice. The convention connected us with at least 30 new pottery studio partners nationwide that will now be offering Believe Mugs. Through their silent auction and raffles, the CCSA was able to raise $22,000 for Believe Big! Thanks to the CCSA, we are able to make a huge impact in the lives of those battling cancer. We are thankful and grateful for this partnership!

Additionally, one of our studio partners in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bisque It, was featured on their local news station delivering mugs to a nearby oncology center. Bisque It is holding an October event commemorating their 1st anniversary of participation in the Believe Mug program and will donate half of their event proceeds to Believe Big! Check out the great story below!


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Integrative Medicine Meeting

In September, Believe Big had the opportunity to travel to Stuttgart, Germany for the Integrated Medicine Meeting!

The Integrated Medicine Meeting was a gathering of over 200 various medical professionals hosted at the headquarters of Helixor, a producer of mistletoe. Ivelisse Page and Patty Buddemeyer met with experts in the fields of integrated medicine from all over the world and learned about new research and case studies in oncology. They toured the Helixor mistletoe extract production facility and learned how the plant is harvested and stored and how the extract is obtained from the plant. They also were able to tour the Helixor arboretum and learned about each specific species of mistletoe, the growth and maturation process, and what species treat specific cancers.

This wealth of information better equips us to serve our many patients. Ivelisse was also honored to share the Believe Big story with the delegates present and the response was overwhelming and supportive!,

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Stefanie O’Polka – Lung Cancer Overcomer!

Stefanie O’Polka

Lung Cancer Overcomer!

As a lifelong non-smoker with no family history of cancer, I was shocked and horrified to receive a lung cancer diagnosis in April of 2015. I had a serious case of pneumonia that thankfully hadn’t responded to oral antibiotics. My general practitioner sent me to the emergency room to be admitted, get IV antibiotics, and rest. I began to suspect something was wrong when an unusually large number of doctors and specialists traveled in and out of my ER room, all of them saying they were trying to “rule things out.” After several days in the hospital and many tests and procedures, I awoke from anesthesia with an oncologist by my bedside. It was confirmed: I had lung cancer.

I didn’t know specifics, but somewhere in my mind I remembered reading that lung cancer was one of the worst types of cancer. The actual lung cancer facts are staggering. It is the deadliest of all cancers, killing more people each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers COMBINED. The five-year survival rate for those diagnosed with lung cancer is just 18%. Not great odds, but I am a fighter, and I was going to do whatever I could for me and my three amazing children.

I underwent conventional treatment including surgery removing the majority of my right lung and four months of weekly chemotherapy. I also began researching complementary therapies that could help boost me into that small number of lung cancer survivors. I found an acupuncturist, started taking supplements and juicing, opened myself up with spiritual practices like meditation and gratitude, and I was introduced to Believe Big. Believe Big’s beautiful stories of survival gave me hope that I, too, could overcome cancer, and their nutrition and mistletoe therapy services gave me practical ways to fight this disease.

As I write this, I can gratefully say that I have been cancer free for 3 ½ years! I continue my mistletoe injections and I strive to live a balanced lifestyle. Giving back has always been a part of my life, and I’m proud to say that this year I raised over $30,000 for the Lung Cancer Research Foundation. I am a monthly donor to Believe Big, I’ve enjoyed attending the last three inspirational fundraising dinners, I’ve hosted a fun Believe Mug painting in my home, and my niece now works for this incredible organization that helped me so much on my cancer journey.

Stefanie is pictured above with her niece and 3 children, Believing Big!

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Believe Big visits Horizon Day Camp

Thank you to our supporters for providing an amazing day at Horizon Day Camp for 90 pediatric cancer fighters and their counselors!

These spirited smiling campers, aged 3 to 18, each painted their own unique Believe Mug to be given to another pediatric cancer patient. They each then selected a Believe Mug to encourage them as they continue their fight! We enjoyed an impromptu dance party with the campers and many contagious smiles. The resilience and joy demonstrated by these young cancer warriors was so powerful!  THANK YOU FOR SPREADING HOPE, HELP & HEALING and BELIEVING BIG!

If you’re aware of a cancer treatment center, support group, or other oncology related facility that would like to learn more about Believe Mug donations for their patients, please contact #faceitfightitovercomeitThanks for BELIEVING BIG!



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