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ROOLEE's Cancer Donation Dress & the Women Who Inspired It

Posted by Mekenna Malan on


Here at ROOLEE, we take sisterhood seriously. To help make a difference in women's lives, we've designed a special dress to help our sisters (near and far) who are diagnosed with cancer and provide them the assistance they need. This is a project that is very near and dear to our hearts and we are so excited to share it with you!

The beautiful details woven into the Kassi Darnee Dress represent the illuminating moments in our lives and are meant to remind us of the miracles along our individual journeys. The white fabric represents positivity, light, and perfection. The floral eyelet trim represents beauty, happiness, and hope. The message written on the tag, “perfect in your imperfections,” symbolizes the beautiful strength that comes from not what we look like, but the unique story that makes us who we are.

100% of the proceeds generated from the purchase of this dress will be donated directly to the Logan Cancer Center and the Foundation for Women's Cancer.  

The Kassi Darnee Dress was modeled by eight beautiful and inspiring women who have had or are currently battling cancer. We are so grateful to these women for being willing to share their stories and advice with us. Get to know them and what makes them perfect in their imperfections below!

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Darlene Pitcher

Darlene Pitcher, 56

How long have you been battling cancer?
When I was 19 I had Hodgkin's disease and was in treatment for about two years. I beat that one, then when I was 48 I was diagnosed with a rare form of colon cancer. I was a stage four and was in treatment for about three years. I went through a lot of surgeries, chemo and radiation. I was diagnosed cancer-free a few years ago and I’ve been doing really well ever since. I have my life back.

What advice do you have for someone who has been diagnosed with cancer?
Be positive. When my little boy was 10 years old he told me, “Mom, you can beat this, I believe in you. I know you can do it.” It took his strength to make my strength. I turned my life around and got positive, and just decided, "I am going to beat this." So stay positive, don’t give up, and take it one day at a time. 

What does the phrase “perfect in your imperfections” mean to you?
I’m far from perfect, and I just want to be me. And be happy with me. And love myself, and not compare myself to other people. I am my perfect self. I’ve grown stronger and I know I can be anything. 

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Darnee Neimann

Darnee Niemann, 50

How long have you been battling cancer?
A year and a half.

What has been the hardest thing you’ve had to go through?
Feeling like my time is limited, like I’m not going to be here for all the things I want to be here for. That one I’m still struggling with, but I am determined to be here.

What advice would you have for the caregivers of someone who has cancer?
Love them. Listen to them. Hug them. You probably can’t really understand them unless you’ve been there, but you can be a true friend.

What does the phrase “perfect in your imperfections” mean to you?
Liking yourself the way you are, even when it's hard!

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Heidi Dunkley

Heidi Dunkley, 44

How long have you been battling cancer?
Eight and a half years.

What advice do you have for someone who has been diagnosed with cancer?
It’s really, really hard at first, but it starts to become more of your "normal." Instead of being this crazy thing, it will become your new normal. When you first get the diagnosis it’s shocking, but it will get better. Even while you're trying to get better. 

What does the phrase “perfect in your imperfections” mean to you?
Being perfect in your imperfections is allowing your weaknesses to become your strengths. For example, I was really paranoid my whole life and I considered that to be a negative thing. But because I had this awareness, I was able to get diagnosed. Everyone told me it wasn’t cancer, and I finally found a surgeon who biopsied it and it was. So if I didn’t have the "weakness" of being paranoid, I wouldn’t have gotten my cancer diagnosed sooner rather than later. In the end, my "imperfections" helped me.

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Julie Redd

Julie Redd, 52

How long have you been battling cancer?
I was diagnosed in January. It’s been a really long winter!

What advice do you have for someone who has been diagnosed with cancer?
Trust your instinct. There will be people who will voice their opinion to you that have never gone through this, but it's just their opinion. Ignore them, follow your gut, and do what feels right to you. There are so many different options and every cancer is different. You have to do what feels right for you, not what somebody else is telling you. Get some support from someone who is going through it or has been through it. It is so helpful to talk to someone who understands the things that other people don’t.

What does the phrase “perfect in your imperfections” mean to you?
Our imperfections make us who we are. They create our own story. If we were all perfect, we would all be the same, and that would be really boring. We need to appreciate our imperfections, and of course we work on them to make them better, but they make us who we are. I think our imperfections make people love us.

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Lisa Rich

Lisa Rich, 44

How long have you been battling cancer?
I found out in November of last year, so about five months.

What advice do you have for someone who has been diagnosed with cancer?
If I were to give advice, I would say to process all the information you have. There’s a lot to take in all at once, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But take it all in, ask a lot of questions, and ask again, because you’re going to have more every time. Write notes. Stay positive. Focus on today and ask yourself, "How am I going to get through this day?" If it’s a minute, if it’s an hour, do whatever you have to do to get through it. I’m a very spiritual person so I love to pray and meditate about it and ask for the answers that I need. After that, accept it. That was the hardest thing. 

What does the phrase “perfect in your imperfections” mean to you?
My scars tell a story. They remind me of my past and the trials that I’ve faced, and they’ve shaped me into who I am today. I’ve learned so much through this process. Each time I look at my cancer scars, I think to myself, "I was meant to wear these scars so that they can help someone, so that I can help someone." I can do hard things, I can be perfectly at peace with what I’ve been given. My imperfections do not define me, they help me to know that I am perfect just the way I am. No matter what today may bring, God is always with me.

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Kierra Bee

Kierra Bee, 22

How long have you been battling cancer?
I was diagnosed last year and have been in remission for four months.

What advice do you have for someone who has been diagnosed with cancer?
Choose happiness. I have a necklace that says that because all through my personal journey, it was easier to make the choice to be happy. Everyone has a choice on how they react to things. If you react negatively, that’s all you’re ever going to see from the challenge. Cancer is a negative thing, but it’s easier in the long run to look at the blessings and choose happiness, because it’s a lot more fun. I would say be patient also. I was 21 when I got diagnosed and the doctor told me I would feel weak for the next 6-12 months. I didn’t believe him because I felt like I was young and could bounce back really fast, which wasn’t the case. I’ve had to tell myself to be patient all the time. 

What does the phrase “perfect in your imperfections” mean to you?
Everyone is imperfect, and that’s what makes them interesting. Everyone has a story to tell. A person taking hold of their imperfections is the most amazing thing, and that’s where you can learn the most about a person.

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Kim White

Kim White, 31

How long have you been battling cancer?
Over five years.

What advice do you have for someone who has been diagnosed with cancer?
The first thing I would tell people is to be a big advocate for yourself. It’s really easy to sit there in the doctor’s office, with a doctor in a white coat telling you exactly what your journey is going to look like, when you’re different than every other person they’ve ever seen. Advocate for you, yourself, your own battle and your own journey, and know it’s going to look different than everyone else’s because you’re you.

What advice would you have for the caregivers of someone who has cancer?
Allow the person suffering to feel however they need to feel. Don’t try to fix it. My marriage got really rough at first because my husband always wanted to fix things, when I actually just needed space and freedom to be negative when I needed to or when I needed to vent. Allow them to deal with it however they need to deal with it.

What does the phrase “perfect in your imperfections” mean to you?
Accepting you as you are right now. Loving yourself for all of your imperfections. We’re human, so therefore, we are imperfect. Accept that, and allow yourself to screw up. That’s part of being a human! We don’t need to be perfect. Perfect is boring, and you aren’t going to be perfect, so aiming for it is a waste of time.

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Lisa Chaparro

Lisa Chaparro, 50

How long have you been battling cancer?
I’ve dealt with four cancer occurrences on and off for the past 32 years. 

What advice do you have for someone who has been diagnosed with cancer?
It takes some time for your brain can finally get a grasp on the diagnosis, because inside you’re crumbling, denying, not really sure that’s something that’s really happening to you. Be okay with taking that time. You’ll get a lot of advice about things you should do or need to do. But I think it all boils down to going with your gut. Take the advice that you need or want and let everything else go. Don’t backtrack or doubt yourself. Allow yourself to go through the mourning, because once you’re done, you can move forward. You can conquer this, you’ve got it!

What advice would you have for the caregivers of someone who has cancer?
When you get the diagnosis it’s hard on you, but I almost feel even more sorry for the caregivers and the loved ones. I think if they could take it away, they would. But that’s not possible. They can’t. But they can walk the journey with the one who has been diagnosed and be there every step of the way. Sometimes that step is carrying them when they can’t carry themselves, sometimes it’s encouraging and pushing and making us do things that we wouldn’t want to do or think we could do. It’s a shoulder to cry on. Having someone there step by step through that journey is so important and valuable.

What does the phrase “perfect in your imperfections” mean to you?
Cancer adds more imperfection to your life than the journey of life already gives you, physically, mentally, and emotionally. But those are the things that make me a better person. I feel like because of what I’ve gone through, this is the new me, it’s my new life, the other chapters are closed. New ones are open. I’ve learned and have strength from all those chapters.

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Buy a dress, make a difference.
Shop the cancer dress here.

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2 comments

  • We just bought this dress for my stepdaughter to wear for her send off as she leaves her wedding. Her mom passed from bone marrow cancer three years ago and this was truly a miracle to find this dress that she loves and that has such a special significance for us. Thank you!

    Becca

    Becca Sutton on
  • This post is truly why I admire Roolee. You make everyone who follows you feel so strong, important, and special. Thank you 🙏🏼 ❤️

    Nicole Fulton on

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