Father And Daughter, Both Cancer Survivors, Launch Bracelet Collection To Raise Money For The Cause

"When life seems to be dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it is going to launch you into something great!"

Becca and Gerhard Salmins share a special bond not only because they are father and daughter, but because they have a shared experience of living with a cancer diagnosis: Becca, who is currently 9 years old, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2014. Gerhard has been cancer-free for 20 years after undergoing surgery and radiation in his early 20s. 

Now, the two are strengthening their unique relationship even more by starting a business together that is meant to help others with cancer. The business, called Knots and Arrows, sells bracelets, with proceeds going toward Tackle Kid Cancer and families affected by childhood cancer.  

To learn more about Knots and Arrows, and its amazing cause-oriented mission, we caught up with Gerhard.  



Inspiration for Knots and Arrows initially came when the family was trying to think of ways to raise money for childhood cancer that didn't involve simply fundraising — a process both Gehrad and his daughter, who had previously raised close to $50,000 for Becca's hospital, knew to be draining. Knots and Arrows would allow the family to raise the money they needed for their cause without having to simply "beg" family, friends and strangers for donations. 

"The customer gets fabulous bracelets, and we get to do the giving. Although nothing about the startup of Knots and Arrows has come easy, it certainly is an easier way for us to 'fundraise' and make a difference in the lives of children fighting this awful disease."

Only 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute's Budget goes toward childhood cancer, so finding creative ways to raise more money for the cause, such as Knots and Arrows, is very important. Plus, the startup is doing great things for Gehrad's relationship with his daughter. 

"Anyone who knows Becca knows how vibrant and full of life she is. I can truly say that she took the lemons thrown her way and made some of the world's sweetest lemonade. During her own fight, she always made childhood cancer awareness and research a priority. As I watched her go through many tough times, SHE encouraged ME. No matter what she was going through, she always managed to sport the biggest of smiles.

"At one point during her journey, something became very clear to me. All along, I had thought that I was her rock, but in all reality she was mine. Her strength gave me strength!"

Gerhard's wife came up with the the company's name by combining ideas from two quotes that got the family through some of their darkest days: "Knots: When you've reached the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. Arrows: An arrow can only be launched by pulling it backward." 

Knots and Arrows is meant to convey the idea that "when life seems to be dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it is going to launch you into something great!" says Gerhard.

The company's name has a powerful meaning behind it, but so do the bracelets themselves. Each bracelet sold by Knots and Arrows is made out of swimsuit material, an idea inspired by Dory's line in Finding Nemo: "Just keep swimming." 

"We did just that! We just kept on swimming and swimming during those 26 months of chemo until we safely reached the shore." In November of 2016, Becca underwent her last few days of treatment. She is currently in remission.

Finally, Gerhard says Knots and Arrows bracelets are simply about hope, no matter what the wearer is going through. 

"We want all users to know that no matter what circumstances life may throw your way, hang on tight! Follow your arrow, because better days are ahead!"

For more info on Knots and Arrows or to back the campaign, click here. You can also make an impact by donating to childhood cancer research.



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