Designers / Industry

Hey, Ovarian Cancer: Worthmore Jewelers Has a Message for You


There are times when jewelry is refined and subtle. But when it came to how the owners of Worthmore Jewelers in Georgia felt about cancer, there were only two words that they wanted to use in the design of a special fundraising pendant.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then you already see the point of this pendant. While the necklace might not be everyone’s taste, the chain’s owners hope people will appreciate its purpose. With it, Worthmore Jewelers is raising money to support women who are going through an ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment.

This all started with co-owner Joan Wasser, who received a stage 3C ovarian cancer diagnosis last March. The chain’s two other co-owners, Harris and Geri Botnick, say they wanted to do something to show their support for Wasser as well as to help others.

And while they don’t necessarily condone curse words being used in their stores, they definitely want this necklace to sell out and be worn with pride. Both the Worthmore store owners and the pendant’s designer, Lika Behar, are donating a portion of the proceeds to Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance (GOCA).

Cancer gift bag
With its Bags of Hope donation, Worthmore Jewelers hopes to support the mission of the Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance (GOCA), which is to increase awareness and educate women and their families as well as the health care community about risks, symptoms, and treatment of ovarian cancer, leading to earlier detection (photo courtesy of GOCA). 

GOCA creates and distributes what it calls Bags of Hope, which contain items that help people going through cancer treatment and throughout their recovery, Harris Botnick says. These bags go to women who are newly diagnosed, and Botnick says they hope to donate at least 100 of these bags with their first order of necklaces.

“When Joan was diagnosed, we felt like so many other people do. You never think you’re going to be the ones affected by cancer,” Botnick says. “We realize it’s not a necklace for everybody. But there’s no better sentiment than that if you’ve been touched by cancer. They’re the only words that can describe our feelings toward it.”

Botnick says they contacted Behar and talked her into coming up with the design, hoping for something that looked like script and had a softness to balance the harsh message. The pendant comes in multiple metals and the stone can be customized to represent the cancer fundraising efforts for each disease. For example, gray is the color associated with some brain cancers; pink is traditionally used in breast cancer.

“Lika is so dynamic, and we respect her so much. She’s also a cancer survivor, so we knew we wanted to partner with her on the piece,” Botnick says.

Cancer pendant
The gemstone used in this cancer-fighting pendant can be customized to show a person’s support for raising funds, boosting awareness, or supporting research for particular cancers, Harris Botnick says. 

Behar says she struggled with the wording in the pendant; she hopes no one is offended by the word choice because she, too, doesn’t approve of swearing unnecessarily. However, she decided to move forward with the piece because of her deep respect for Wasser, Worthmore Jewelers, and GOCA’s mission.

“We’re extremely close friends, and it broke my heart that [Joan] was sick,” Behar says. “It’s definitely out of my comfort zone. I even tried to get them to say ‘fight cancer.’ But this is what they wanted, and I wanted to support them and show my love for her. Joan’s my favorite.”

Botnick says Worthmore is holding a special party this week to introduce their clients to the necklace and its purpose. He says Wasser, who had her last treatment in this latest round this month, hopes the pendant and its message will also inspire people to see their doctor regularly.

“She says, ‘If we can get one lady to get screened early, then it will make a difference in someone’s life,’ ” Botnick says.

Top: Worthmore Jewelers and designer Lika Behar partnered to create a fundraising pendant necklace that tells the world exactly what they think about cancer (photos courtesy of Worthmore Jewelers). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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