Giving Back

Operation Bling Brings "Beautiful Hope" to People Battling Cancer

Christine Ferdinand of Ferdinand Jewelers in New Providence has provided over 17,000 people battling cancer with "bling" through Operation Bling including Berkeley Heights teacher Laurie Liming. Credits: Woman's World Magazine

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Although "bling" can't cure cancer, it does bring happiness and make women feel beautiful. 

Christine Ferdinand, owner of Ferdinand Jewelers in New Providence, created Operation Bling Foundation from her desire to lift the spirit of a friend who was battling ovarian cancer. She went to visit her friend in the hospital after hearing of her diagnosis. When her friend waved her naked hand and told Christine how much she missed her "bling," Christine wanted to find a way to lift her friend's spirit. 

Woman's World Magazine recently published Christine's story in the November 6, 2017 edition.

Sign Up for E-News

When Christine left her friend that evening, she knew what she had to do. The next day she ordered several cubic zirconia (CZ) rings -- which sparkled like diamonds but were not as valuable. She packaged them in a pretty case, and Christine and her husband Bill went back to the hospital to visit their friend. "I know we can't bring you flowers in the oncology unit -- but we can bring you bling," Christine said to her friend.

The ring wouldn't cure her friend's cancer, but it did bring her happiness and make her feel beautiful.

The impact we made on our friend was so great we wanted to make that same positive difference to as many cancer patients as we possibly could -- and the Operation Bling Foundation was born in 2008, said Christine. "I bet other women facing the daunting process of cancer treatment could use a bit of bling to brighten their lives too," she said.

The word of Operation Bling spread and donations poured in. Christine ordered a selection of stirling silver and CZ rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and watches for women, men and children facing cancer. Each hospital and department maintains an inventory of "bling" and is available for their patients.

Now, there are nearly 50 "Bling Angels" or volunteers which could be oncology social workers, radiation techs, chemo nurses or official hospital volunteers. Operation Bling is currently in nine local hospitals and has raised the spirits of over 17,000 people.

Berkeley Heights teacher Laurie Liming is one of the recipients. When Laurie lost her hair to breast cancer, she took comfort in proudly showing off her earrings, the Woman's World article said.

"It may sound silly, but I knew that as long as I had my earrings and lipstick, I'd be all right," Laurie said. When her earrings were lost during a hospital stay, Laurie was heartbroken. Operation Bling surprised her with a sparkly new pair. "The kind gesture helped this cancer patient shine," she said. 

Other recipients said:

-- "What you do is so special. You bring some sparkle to the dreariness of cancer."

-- "Somehow it adds to my determination to beat cancer. From now on, I will wear it with great hope and thanks in my heart."

For Christine, she is amazed what a small act of kindness can do. "At a time when people are worried and may not feel like themselves, a little bling reminds them of all the good things in the world," she told Woman's World.

"We would like to make a difference to everyone that  it touches," said Christine. "Until cancer is no more, we want to be there for each person walking the walk. To bring that Cinderella moment -- that ray of light."

Visit the Operation Bling website to learn about fundraising opportunities and how to support Operation Bling through their online boutique or through Ferdinand Jewelers located at 6 South Street, New Providence. 

Editor's Note: "Making Women Sparkle" was featured in the Nov. 6, 2017 Woman's World Magazine.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mountainside

Dear Susan: Beauty Tips from a Beauty Expert

SUSAN BARBAGLIA, owner of Skin Deep Salon and Spa in New Providence, offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise as a leader in the beauty industry. With over thirty years experience in skin care, Susan can answer your most challenging beauty questions. Email your ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, December 13

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_24b0bab667753b5ceada_1d4v8952

Wed, December 13, 5:00 AM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Free Wellness Wednesday at Westfield Area YMCA

Thu, December 14

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_76b1f29216cc013832ba_23032684_1770980166265336_1885030286616161689_n__1_

Thu, December 14, 7:30 PM

CDC Theatre, Cranford

A Christmas Carol, The Musical Dancing into CDC ...

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, December 15

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Fri, December 15, 5:00 PM

West Orange

Holiday Lights Spectacular

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

ConRail Working on Track Clean Up Following Friday's Derailment in Union; Train Service Still Suspended

December 9, 2017

UNION, NJ – No hazardous material was involved in the freight train derailment Friday afternoon in Union.

“There’s severe damage to the tracks,” said Union Fire Chief Mike Scanio at a press conference Friday evening.  “There’s multiple piles of cars at different locations up and down the span of the tracks from the Roselle Park line all the way through ...

Rutgers to raise minimum wage to $11 an hour for student workers

December 12, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University will be raising the campus-wide minimum wage to $11 an hour, university president Robert Barchi announced in a campus-wide email on December 11.

The move comes as a partial victory for the local labor rights group, Rutgers United Students Against Sweatshops​ (RUSAS)​, wh​ich ha​s​ been campaigning for a $15 minimum wage.

Right now, the ...

Rutgers University-NewarkChancellor Coming to Interweave

December 13, 2017

SHORT HILLS, NJ- Interweave is pleased to announce that Dr. Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Rutgers University-Newark, author and renowned social psychologist, will speak at Interweave on Monday, December 18 at Christ Church in Short Hills.  In "After Charlottesville," Dr. Cantor will bring a valuable historical perspective to help put into context the disturbing ...

Your Doctor in Sickness and in Health

December 11, 2017

About 3 years ago, around the time healthcare was saying its last goodbyes to solo practitioners, I decided to plunge into the world of private practice and one morning announced to my family, “I am starting a new primary care solo practice.” I am an Internist of Asian Indian origin and I graduated from residency about twenty years ago. To say that my family was bewildered is an ...