Bridget Spence and “A Pearl to Bridget” Project

As this year is quickly approaching its end,  there is a project in its infancy–

A Pearl to Bridget Project. 

While some of us are ready to close the chapter on this year and look forward to achieving grander successes in 2013, there are others who will enter the new year reflecting on what legacies they will leave behind.

Many of us have come to a realization that our time truly IS limited. 

For some of us, the remaining moments in 2012, as well as the first few weeks of the new year typically spent on resolutions soon-to-be-forgotten, will be dedicated to making sure that a beautiful, vivacious, gifted young woman knows that she will never be forgotten.

Bridget Spence is one of my heroes. She is 29 years old and was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer at the age of 21.   Her hope is to live long enough to celebrate her 30th birthday in July.

Bridget Spence

Her name is well-known in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk community.  Whether sharing the titles of 3-Day coach, walker, survivor, advocate, friend or family member, no one can say they have not been touched by Bridget’s powerful spirit on so many levels, whether you have met her face-to-face or not.

I dare say that if you were to watch any of the videos of her speeches on YouTube, you will be filled with a sense of who she is and her powerful, dynamic personality.

Here  you will find Bridget speaking at the Komen Leadership Conference on March 2, 2012.

Bridget’s blog,  My Big Girl Pantsis one of the most touching, honest accounts of life’s journey, whether you are living with cancer or simply learning to live. Her willingness to be vulnerable to share  raw emotion,  her heart and soul has affected me profoundly.  It serves as an example as how to connect with oneself and with others on so many levels.

Bridget wrote her last blog post this week–Right Place Right Time–as she prepares to “say her goodbyes.”

It is one of the most touching pieces I have ever read, where she asks us–

…for just one more favor. It is time for me to ask each of you to let me go. It is time to say goodbye…Please, don’t forget about me.  (Bridget Spence)

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Malinda H., Alisen D., Aubrey C., and Brenda T. are also my heroes. We all know one another through mutual association with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day.

These women are orchestrating a project to honor Bridget Spence in a big way–A Pearl to Bridget Project–to let Bridget (who loves pearls) know that years that she has fought this insidious disease have not been in vain, to show her just how much impact she has had on the world around her, and to share with her the love she has been so selfless in sharing with others.

For a two-week period,  people from all over the world are ordering a single (one) pearl. Each pearl will symbolize a life that Bridget and her message have touched, which will serve as a reminder that she will never be forgotten. The pearls will be strung and sent to her as proof of the impact she has made.

(If you don’t know her and don’t think she has touched your life, please read her blog or watch her speak on YouTube.)

We are happy to announce that Pearl Paradise ( has partnered with the project planners and will donate 50% of the total order and the cost of shipping to the Komen organization in Bridget Spence’s name.

Due to the time sensitivity of this project, the deadline for this generous offer is January 11th, 2013.  When ordering from Pearl Paradise,  please use the following “Ship To” name and address for tracking purposes:

Malinda H., c/o A Pearl to Bridget Project, (address removed upon deadline )

The company will hold the pearls and, once the orders are all processed, one of the the company’s designers will design and craft something special for Bridget and it will be sent directly to her.  We ask that you leave a comment here on the blog with the order number from Pearl Paradise.  You can also leave your comment, story, words of love, etc.  Each comment will be acknowledged.

Bridget could be any one of the young women you know…

Daughter. Sister. Granddaughter. Niece. Cousin. Wife. Girlfriend. Coworker.

I encourage to read Bridget’s blog to peer into the window of this one woman’s life who has made such a difference to so many others.  Share it with those you know. Much can be learned from her as she shares her journey LIVING with Cancer.

Thank you for joining us in this effort and for helping to make a difference in Bridget’s life…and for letting Bridget know that we will NEVER forget.

(Note:  To read Bridget’s blog or hear her speak, put your cursor over the hyperlinks on her name, speech or blog references and you can hear and read the words from this amazing woman.)


318 thoughts on “Bridget Spence and “A Pearl to Bridget” Project

  1. Carrie

    PearlParadise Order Confirmation – 69065 my thoughts and prayers for Bridget. I have never met Bridget, reading this blog and listening to her speech she is an amazing young woman. Carrie

      1. Coral: I have ordered just now for Bridget. My order # is 69372. She is such a wonderful young lady and has been so courageous.

    1. Patty Sereno

      Pearl Paradise order 44004
      Bridget and I have met in Boston where I am the local medical director for the 3-day walk. I will not forget Bridget or her story, and I hope that will help me in my daily medical practice.

      1. Patty, Thank you for your commitment to the 3-Day walkers. May you continue to gain strength through the connections you make with those you serve.

    2. Olga

      Order Confirmation – 69518. Bridget was my Maid of Honor and I have known her for six years. She is a great friend and an amazing woman. She has touched countless lives with hers and will never be forgotten.

    3. Anne

      Order Number 69571

      Pink pearls for Bridget as I know she will look fabulous in them! We are thinking and praying for Bridget, Alex and the entire Spence and Mooney families…With all our love, Anne and Ryan Quigley

  2. MaryAnn Romaine-Peterson

    Order #69169 I remember the first time I met Bridget in Boston at a crew meeting and she spoke so elequently about her diagnosis and treatments but she had such an optimistic outlook. I am a survivior and she was so inspirational and encouraging. Of course there wasn’t a dry eye in the tent. Since then I always looked forward to seeing her at the 3 Day events whether I was walking or crewing. I thought “Look at this amazing woman and her spirit”. I am so proud of her strive to push forward and not give up, Bridget has influenced more lives than she will ever realize. She is not in the past and she will remain in all of our hearts and thoughts always. Enjoy the Pearls!!!

  3. Chris

    Order 69184 Pearl Paradise. Hearing Bridget speak at the Boston Crew Day in 2010 was inspiring and motivated me to continue to participate in the 3Day. Her impact will be felt long into the future.

  4. Leanne

    Order #69192 Pearl Paradise. I have not met Bridget but have experienced the 3day twice. This extraordinary young woman will never be forgotten.

  5. Sharon larsen

    Coral, thank you for sharing this project for Bridget! I have placed my order through Pearl Paradise. Order # 69196 . I would like to share this project on my blog–with your permission!

    1. Sharon…thank you for contributing to this project and for your offer to share. You absolutely have permission to share the project on your blog. I ask that you please direct them to this link so that we can track what comes through Pearl Paradise. Thanks for visiting my blog, and I’ll look forward to reading yours….Coral

  6. Order 69239. Maybe let people know, though, that the only way to get a full drilled pearl for stringing (versus a half drilled pearl for earrings, rings, etc) from this site is to order an inch of pearls. Worth it for Bridget though– she’s an incredible woman whom I admire more than I can put into words. Thanks for doing this for her!

    1. Thank you, Jane. Pearl Paradise has agreed to drill/string, even purchasing the single half-drilled pearls, for this project. And having read several of your blogposts, I would say that you, too, are “an incredible woman.” Happy New Year.

  7. Heidi

    I have the privilege of knowing Bridget…..she is always up beat and caring. She will never be forgotten by the people of Y9. She is etched in my heart forever.

  8. 69264
    You will never be forgotten! Your legacy will be carried forward in the hearts of all of those you have touched. You have done so much to advance the fight against Breast Cancer. I am proud to carry on your crusade. I will hold you, Big Man and the rest of your friends and family in my heart and prayers.

  9. God Bless you and all of our Pink Family!!! I never had the honor and privilege to meet Bridget, but am moved and inspired by her never the less.
    My order number from Pearl Paradise is 69265. Two pearls from myself and my husband, Clay Mullin(aka TuTu Man on the DFW Route Safety Crew).
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
    Stephanie Mullin
    No Walker Left Behind

    1. Stephanie–Thanks to both you and Clay for your continued commitment to Bridget’s cause, the 3-Day. I have a fondness for the DFW event, as I was a seasonal coach for the 2006 walk.

  10. Jennifer

    Order No. 69270; 1/2/2013–I read Bridget’s last blog through a Facebook Share by a loyal three-day participant and friend, Amy Crandall. I have thought about Bridget quite often ever since. To Bridget and Susan Komen Foundation–thank you for your commitment to the fight.

  11. Alisen Dupré

    Coral, your friendship, leadership and love is so revered and I can’t thank you enough on behalf of ALL of us, for spreading the word on this beautiful project.

    1. Alisen…Gary Wills said that “Leadership is a mobilization toward a common goal.” No one does this alone. I’m glad to be able to be a part of it. Each of us is doing our part. So thank YOU for the encouragement and love you give to me consistently.

  12. Carol Huber

    Pearl Paradise Order 69281
    I met Bridget at the Boston 3 Day last year. I had heard about Bridget and how amazing and inspirational she was, long before I ever met her last July. The first contact I had with her was when she called me, last July, to say that I would be a flag bearer in the opening ceremony, and I’ll never forget the message she left me. In both the message she left me and when talking to her on the phone, she was SO friendly and bubbly…you would never know she was fighting cancer. Then I met her in Boston Thursday night at the flag bearer ceremony. She hugged me when I met her there and every time I saw her during the 3 Day. My husband saw her every day also, as he was crewing on the campground. I can’t put into words how much Bridget has touched so many lives; it gives me chills just thinking about it. She will be remembered for her attitude, her commitment, how inspiring and encouraging she was. We all love Bridget.

    1. Carol…the words you have shared are so honoring of Bridget. Thank you for letting others who have not ever met her face-to-face to get the essence of her through the example you have shared. Thank you for supporting this project, as well.

  13. Barbara B. Goldstein

    I have been following Bridget’s blog and I cannot believe that the end is near for her. Too sad for words. What a wonderful project for you to do to honor her. My order number is #69286, 1/2/2013.

  14. Sharon Davidson

    Precious Bridget…What a warrior you are; it’s you that WE thank! Thank you for your courageous and brave fight, your sharing to better others through all the highs and lows, your amazing honesty and contagious sense of self and humor! Forgotten, heavens NO!! Your legacy will be large and enduring…Be at peace, we’ll continue to wage the war here!!

    Sharon D
    OC – 69287

  15. Jenn Hart

    Order # 69288- pearl paradise. I’ve never met Bridget but I was dx with breast cancer on my very first mammogram December 4,2012. Im 40 yrs old, 3 young kids. Had a double mastectomy Christmas Eve and recovering. Bridget’s story is inspiring and I want to help wherever I can.

    1. Jenn…thank you for your dedication to support this project as you are going through your own healing. Remember to take care of yourself and be an inspiration to others. Many blessings to you in 2013!

    2. Judy Veron

      May God bless and keep you and your family! So sorry you have become a part of this sisterhood, but thank you so much for wanting to contribute at such a “raw” time in your journey. Much love and prayers!

  16. Hello, my name is Amanda Rodgers from Fl. I am a 33 yr old mother of 6 who has stage IV breast cancer as well. i lost my husband in the US Army in 2005 one day before my bday. I want Bridget to know we as women are fighters! Please dont give up hope! I was told 3-5 years and its been 3 years now. I am taking Herceptin, it is for Her + breast cancer. I couldnt handle the regular chemo. My cancer had spread to my throat, my spine, my liver, as well as my breast! i wanna tell you that after removing my ovaries which was feeding my cancer.. my cancer was multiplying from the estrogen. I am now cancer free in all places but my breast which was eaten by the cancer! Please If you would like to talk id love to hear from you! Women are the strongest things on this earth and with Gods will power and determination there isnt anything you cant get through! Amanda

    1. Amanda…Thank you for sharing your story! We need to keep telling our stories in order to raise awareness. We cannot be afraid to speak or to shout it from the mountaintops! Many blessings to you and your family. You ARE strong!!

  17. Jennifer Rosenberg

    Thank you so much for putting together this fitting tribute. Order #69292 from Jennifer Rosenberg. Bridget, you have made such a huge impact on the lives of so many. I am proud to call you my friend and while I still believe in miracles, I have understand your decision to say goodbye to us and focus on time with the Big Man and your family. Know that I am thinking of you and wishing you a quiet and peaceful time. With all my love, Jennifer.

  18. Julie

    Order # 69297 is on its way from Julie Jacobson & the staff of the Chicago land affiliate of Susan G. Komen. Thank you for organizing this!

  19. Stacy Kornmeyer

    Order No. 69298. 4 coming your way. I know of Bridget through a cousin, Cezanne Macary. I have read through Bridget’s story and have been so inspired. There are 4 pearls, 1 from each of the 4 in my family. I am also sending them in loving memory of my great grandmother, Amanda Parkinson, who was to afraid to tell her family that she had breast cancer in 1989. I know that she would have found Bridget’s blog and story comforting in knowing that she was not alone. Our prayers are with Bridget, her family and friends during this time.

    1. Stacy, thank you for sharing your great-grandmother’s story. I’m grateful that we have come so far in these past 25 years that we don’t have to fear telling our families about these diagnoses. Awareness has made this possible, and the commitment of people like Bridget to tell one’s story matters so much.

  20. Bridgette

    My Paradise Pearl Order ID: 69299. I am truly humbled and inspired by Bridget and her amazing story of success. Thank you so much Bridget and the Susan Komen Foundation for your continued effort and commitment to not stop until we have found a cure. Breast cancer runs heavily on my mother’s side of the family and I have always wondered in the back of my mind if my sisters or I would one day have to come face-to-face with it. In the mean time I am so thankful for the large network of support for survivors, friends and family as well as the donations that continue to fund research for a cure. Bridget, please know that you have made an impact, your life has been a source of strength for so many and you are unforgettable! Keeping you, Big Man and all of your family and friends in my heart and prayers.

    1. Bridgette…your kind words and show of support is touching, especially in light of your sharing your story regarding the family history. We must continue to be dedicated to find a cure for cancers of all kinds! Thank you for participating in this project.

  21. Leanne

    Order # 69300 – placed 1/2/13. Bridget is an amazing young woman who will never be forgotten! She has touched so many lives and thank you for your amazing tribute to one so special!

  22. Judy Veron

    Thank you so much for an opportunity to give a little bit of ourselves back to Bridget. She has given so much to our cause that this small token of appreciation isn’t adequate, but fitting! I have never met Bridget but like all of us we have this sense of dedicated sisterhood that is matched only be our devotion to eradicating this beast! I have purchased 3 inches from my daughters and daughter-in-law to signify her commitment to the 3 day events, and from myself a rose colored pearl for the love I am sending her way. Please know the brave ones that leave before us won’t ever be forgotten! They have courageously left us a path to follow. There is an obvious down side to having breast cancer but being remotely associated with people of her caliper far outweighs this. The HOPE we share is eternal. God bless you everyone, Judy–Pearl Paradise order # 69305

    1. Judy…one never knows exactly what impact they have on others until such time we learn to share the stories that mean so much to us. I love your choice of words, “…we have this sense of dedicated sisterhood that is matched only by our devotion to eradicating this beast!” Amen, sister!

  23. Thank you for putting this out there. I have met Bridget at several 3-Day events and am so sad to hear that she has taken such a turn for the worse. She will certainly never, NEVER be forgotten. My Pearl Paradise order # is 69308. Bridget, you and your loved ones are in my heart, in my thoughts, and in my prayers.

    1. Linda…the impact that Bridget has had on the world around her is immeasurable. This project is only a small gesture in comparison of what she deserves for her contribution. Thank you for your support.

  24. Dena Deiger

    Order#69310; I heard Bridget speak at the National Conference last year. She is a true inspiration. Thank you for doing this to honor such an amazing person. It is a plus that Pearl Paradise is helping Susan G. Komen. The order was shipped 2-4 day option.

    1. Hi Dena! Yes, she is an inspiration, indeed!!! And Pearl Paradise has given us such amazing support! Thank you for your participation in the project!

  25. Shauna

    Order ID: 69311 Order Date: 01/02/2013
    I ordered a pearl through the website. This is my order number and my name is Shauna Galante. I am honored to have met Bridget at the Boston 3 day. She is incredible and more courageous than anyone should need to be. Sending her love and peace. Thank you for organizing this! Shauna

  26. Jacqueline Kania

    Had the honor of meeting Bridget this year when she spoke at the Race for the Cure in Orlando, FL. She made such an impact on my best friend, who was diagnosed this year. She will never be forgotten. Order Number 69316 Has Successfully Been Completed

  27. Julia

    Order 69318. I wish that I could say I have the priviledge of knowing Bridget personally. What a strong young woman. I hope that she spends her birthday somewhere exotic with an umbrella drink in hand, she has earned it. I have been a Komen volunteer for 9 years in loving memory of my Aunt, and Bridget renews my passion to end it. To find the cures. To end breast cancer forever. And together, WE WILL.

  28. In memory of my mom, Karen. Godspead Bridget. Though we’ve never met, I feel a connection. Just one of the amazing things about our 3Day community. Many hugs from all of Team Piggy.

  29. Order ID: 69339

    I first encountered Bridget when she sent me an email letting me know that my friend’s photo would be included in the Remembrance Tent for the entire 3-Day tour for 2010. Then later that year, my husband and I got to meet and then hear Bridget during Crew Day. I have followed her blog since.

    Neither my husband, my friends with whom I’ve shared Bridget’s blog, or I ever forget the wonderful woman that we met (either in real life or virtually) as a result of her courageous and inspiring life with cancer.

  30. Yuka CUmings

    Thank you so much for putting this wonderful opportunity to salute to Bridget and her legacy. My order number is 69337, and my name is Yuka Cumings.

    Bridget, you have made a huge difference in so many survivors’ lives including me. Your strength, grace, courage, and passion to help others will live as your legacy in all of us. Your smile and legacy will carry all of us from here, so you enjoy time with your love ones. It is now my pledge to continue the fight you were so passionate about, in your honor. Sending all my love to you and Alex….

    Yuka Cumings

  31. Erin

    Order Number 69342 from Erin, John, and Penny Richardson. What a lovely life to celebrate. Thank you for arranging something nice.

  32. Catherine

    I happened upon this while on facebook. Bridget has been my best friend since we were children. I was the maid of honor in her wedding, when I got married one day she was supposed to be mine. We were supposed to raise our kids as friends, watch them try to pull the same tricks we did at their age. The thought of a life without her is incomprehensible. I know so many people have been touched by her strength and I’m thankful that you are pulling this together so that she knows. My order confirmation is: 69340, I ordered on 1/3.

    1. Catherine…I am so touched that you have visited my blog and have shared your story of the friendship you and Bridget share. I extend my heart and love to you and the others who also love her by doing what I can by giving this opportunity and forum to share. Thank you for your strength and willingness to do so.

  33. Phoebe

    Thanks to Catherine for posting this on FB, I found your project for Bridget. I met her around 2004/05 when she started dating my brother, “the Big Man,” and have been blessed to have her in my life every since. She has given so much in such a short amount of time, and I think that this is such a great idea for giving back to her. Thank you for this beautiful gesture. My order is 69353.

    1. Phoebe…words will never be sufficient enough to express the emotion I personally feel right now, reading your message here. Thank you for sharing your love and your story of your relationship to Bridget. Much love to you and your family.

  34. Courtney

    Order # 69361- Bridget is my friend and high school class mate. She is truly unforgettable, and the strength that she has shown over the past 8 years is something that I will forever remember and admire. We love you Bridget!

  35. Mara

    I’m a friend of Phoebe Spence at work, and this story made me melt because it’s very touching, hits close to home, and it’s also a chance to do a kindness for a complete stranger, and I love these opportunities. My good friend Rhonda’s sister, Suzi, was lost to breast cancer a few years ago, and my best friend’s husband just lost his dad to cancer, too. I hate cancer, and I hate its destructive path, and I truly hope that I’m going to live to see its end, not to see it end another person. My order is 69364.

    1. Thank you, Mara, for sharing your kindness and your support. We need a cure, most definitely. For some of us, it won’t happen soon enough. With people such as you and the others who have shown your dedication, I hope that you will see that day.

    1. Laura…having been a 3-Day walker in San Diego several years, I know firsthand just how much support there is from the San Diego community. Thank you for your support of this project and showing Bridget the love.

  36. Jan

    Coral, I just went to respond to the Invite and it is no longer out there. I placed an order today with Pearl Paradise #69325. I order 1″ (4 pearls) for Bridget. I was lucky enough to actually meet Bridget and speak with her on the phone the year that our team Individuals United raised over $50,000 for DC and we were 3rd place for team fundraising. Bridget has been an inspiration and will truly never be forgotten. Would you please let Malinda know that about my order #?

    1. Jan…thank you for all that you have done for awareness and research and for your support of Bridget’s Pearl Project. The information will be passed along.

  37. Ashley N

    Pearl Paradise Order # 69380.

    I happened to come upon this on Facebook.While I do not know Bridget personally, we attended the same school together ( RPCS) and have many mutual friends. I was a few grades below her. I am truly touched by her story. Bridget, you are an inspiration. You remain in my thoughts and prayers. Sending love to you and your family. – Ashley, RPCS ’03

  38. Pearl Paradise Order # 69384. Pink pearls, which I KNOW Bridget will love. That’s so her style, and always has been.

    I have known Bridget since we were high school classmates (and maybe even longer?). The first time I ever had a beer was in her house, surrounded by a lively group of friends. Even back then, Bridget’s spirit was as infectious as her laugh, and I am so honored to have known her. The pain and struggle that she has endured and the way she has carried herself and her family through with such grace is astonishing.

    She wil be greatly missed, but never, ever forgotten. Her words and inspirational story will live on, and will continue to give strength to others for many years to come.

    1. Kate…I love to hear these stories that you and people are sharing about Bridget. Thank you for doing so, and thank you for supporting this project.

      1. Mary Owens

        Coral, What a touching project. I am Kate’s (above comment) mom and Bridget, I remember you as an energetic and interesting young woman, certainly an independent thinker. Your life has touched many through the last years, what dedication of purpose and hope. I have sent Pink Paradise Order Number 69409, from Mary Owens

  39. Erin Kartman

    Pearl Paradise Order # 69385. God Bless all of you that are organizing this beautiful tribute to Bridget who is truly an angel walking among us & an amazing inspiration.

  40. Gail W

    Order ID: 69386
    Bridget will not be forgotten. This inch is from all of my breast friends who continue to stand strong in their fights against breast cancer.

  41. amy sibel

    Order ID: 69389
    coral…bridget’s mom was my sons 2nd grade teacher…. we loved dottie and know how special bridget is…… amy sibel

    1. Amy…it is no wonder that Bridget is the woman she is with this testament to her mother’s impact on your son and you. Thank you for your support of this project.

  42. Lisa G

    Pearl Paradise Order #69391. This is a wonderful project – I went to high school with Bridget and did not know her well but have been touched by her life like many others.

  43. Nicki

    Order number 69392.
    I don’t know Bridget, but when I was a freshman in high school my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She motivated me to get more involved with fighting cancer by participating in various cancer walks and runs, and I became very involved with relay for life. I watched Bridget’s speech and read some of her blog, and it is people like her that have made it so people like me can still have their mom with them. I hope that someday I can be as involved as Bridget is in the cancer organizations. It breaks my heart to think that she was diagnosed so young. It reminds young people like me that it is never too early to start checking yourself/getting checked. There was no family history in my family either. Thinking of you Bridget, and thank you for all that you have done.

    1. Nicki

      And by the way, I found out about this via a share from a Facebook friend, and we are all the way in Washington. Nice job spreading the word!

      1. Nicki….I’m not sure which Washington you mean, but I am in WA state; and the others who started this are in OH, CA, PA (I think), and another in WA. Amazing how the reach of social media can be so vast. There are some who are reaching out to Bridget from other continents.

    2. Thank you for telling your story, Nicki, and for your support and dedication to being involved. Love to you. Keep making people aware by sharing your personal story, and thank you for stopping by here and leaving a message.

  44. Emily

    Order number: 69393
    I never met Bridget, but have followed her story for many years. We are alums from the same high school. God bless her and her family.

  45. Marsha

    My prayers and thoughts are with Bridget and her family who have also been so generous in sharing their wife/sister/daughter with us all. Bridget spoke at the Race for the Cure in Orlando this past October…the day before her scans, the day after she attended another event in Boston and just weeks after emergency heart surgery. We hugged after she came off the stage and she asked “Did I do okay?” Of all the people who could ask that question……..

    (Pearl Paradise order # 69390 – thank you Coral and everyone involved in this heartwarming project)

  46. Elicia Fernald

    I am mailing out our pearls today. Thank you for doing this for such an amazing young lady! Bridget will never be forgotten she will hold a very special place in my heart forever (Boston 3Day participant since 2005)

  47. Bridget has been in my thoughts and prayers over the holidays. I met Bridget through “An Evening for Bridget” where Bridget Spence was the guest speaker and shared her incredibly courageous journey battling cancer with 300 guests at this event last spring. Bridget Spence’s story falls particularly close to home as we lost my wonderful friend and colleague, Bridget Slotemaker, to cancer at the young age of 35. Bridget Spence’s positivity, energy and honesty about her emotional journey battling cancer has made a difference. Whether it is raising awareness, raising funds or being a powerful role model for young women battling this horrible disease – she has made an impact on people’s lives. For the short time I spoke with Bridget Spence and her husband after her speech, I found them to be two remarkable people. I’m thinking of them both and sending my love.

    Thank you for coordinating this amazing and very thoughtful project for Bridget Spence.

    pearl paradise
    order: 69404

    1. Julie…Thank you for sharing this story of Bridget and the special evening with her and Alex. They are, indeed, remarkable. And thank you for your support of this project for her.

  48. Morgan

    My prayers to Bridget and her family and friends. What an amazing inspiration Bridget is to so many. I do not know Bridget personally, but am touched by her story, her passion, and her amazing words.
    Order number 69407

  49. Polly

    I hope we all carry Bridget’s story with us always. She is an amazing woman who has touched so many with her cause.
    Two Pearls are on their way from my mother Jane and I in Baltimore. Order#69408
    Thank you for organizing this.

  50. Alisen Dupré

    In reading all these wonderful posts, memories, kinships…. It fills my heart with such hope. Coral, again…. Thank you for broadcasting the project on your blog. Clearly you, your own story and your love spans far and wide. We are all very blessed to have you helping in this truly touching tribute to Bridget.

    1. Alisen…It is a remarkable blessing, indeed, to see how far-reaching Bridget and her family’s story is on the world around us. Heartwarming and hopeful, it is a reminder to us all that our words and actions can mean so much to one solitary person whose world seems to be tumbling down around her or reach the expansiveness of the world, whether we realize it or not. Not ever having met Bridget face-to-face, I get a very real sense of just who she is through these shared stories, and know that we would be friends, if we are to ever have the chance to meet in our lifetimes. Thank YOU all for allowing me the gift of involvement in this project.

  51. Laura

    Order Number 69411 from Pearl Paradise – There are two pearls in this order, one for me and one for my mom, Sue. Bridget has never met either of us, but we started following her blog around the same time that my mother started (and failed) a TDM1 trial. Since then we have followed Bridget’s journey with love and hope in our hearts. She has made a big difference to both of us, and we are praying for her and for her family.

    1. Laura…it is with amazing strength and dedication that Bridget has touched so many. Thank you for your support of her through your participation in this project.

  52. Sarah Williams

    We are all holding Bridget and her family in our thoughts and prayers. I had the honor of meeting bridget through our work on the Evening for Bridget for Dana Farber. She is an incredible person with remarkable strength and courage. She will always remain in our thoughts.

    Sarah & Landen Williams
    Order Number 69415
    Pearl Paradise

    1. Sarah & Landen…thank you for your support of Bridget and this project. I have not had the honor of meeting her face-to-face, but see the power and reach she has through all of you who are honoring her. I am also inspired to see all that Dana Farber does for this fight for all of us with stage IV cancer. I have a dear friend who, like me, has Neuroendocrine(NET)/Carcinoid Cancer and she is being treated at DF. Thank you again for the work you do for us all. We must find a cure!

  53. Nicole Connelly

    My order # is 69427 I am sending 4 pearls, one for each member of my family. Thank you so much for putting this project together. Bridget is an amazing person and has been in my thoughts and prayers. I met Bridget through an event called “An Evening for Bridget” in memory of my dear friend Bridget Slotemaker who passed away of cancer in August 2008. Bridget Spence was a guest speaker at our event last spring and did an incredible job opening up to an audience of 300 people about her long and challenging journey with breast cancer. Even though she was delivering a tough message, her spirit was uplifting and encouraging. She shares many of the same qualities that my friend Bridget possessed; enthousiasm about life, lots of spunk, a huge, beautiful smile, ability to make friends everywhere, to name just a few…I will continue to pray for a miracle for Bridget so that she can enjoy all of these pearls for a long, long time! Nicole, Jamie, Corinne and Graham Connelly

    1. Nicole…Thank you for sharing your story of both the Bridgets and the qualities you have seen in both of them. And thanks to all for your support of the pearl project.

  54. Olivia Bukosky

    ‎69433 Sent an inch for Bridget on behalf of my self and in honor of Deb Kirkland and Jenny Hoffman and Breast Friends! xoxo

  55. Lauren Dodrill

    Pearl Paradise Order No. 69430, Ordered 1/4/12 – Thank you for organizing this project. My thoughts and prayers go out to Bridget and her family. Bridget has touched my life and inspired me in more ways than she knows starting with our days at RPCS. Since meeting Bridget in the 9th grade, she has always been such a positive person and bright light. It is truly an honor to call her my friend.

  56. Caitlin

    I met Bridget at church several years ago, but only found out about the cancer last summer. She is an incredible person and an inspiration to so many. I just purchased a pearl. The order # was 69435. Thank you for doing this!!

  57. Susan M Blumenthal

    Our order number is 69437 – Our thoughts and prayers are with Bridget and her family – What an inspiration she has been to all of us – We will forever hold her in our hearts – The Blumenthal Family

  58. Beverly Hippler

    Order Number 69446 – Coral, thank you and many blessings to you for putting this together! I’m a 2x breast cancer survivor and have participated in six Komen 3-Day events – but sadly, have not had the opportunity to meet the lovely Warrior Bridget. I have read her blog and watched the video and she is the reason I walk…she is the reason I will continue to walk…I will always, ALWAYS walk for Bridget!
    God bless you and keep you, Coral! God bless you, Bridget Spence – you have made a difference; you will NEVER be forgotten ❤

    1. Beverly…I am blessed to have been able to be a small part of being able to reach more people to honor Bridget, but cannot take credit for the project. It’s all of you who have responded so generously and full of heart to this project that has made the difference. Thank you for your continued commitment in the fight to find a cure for this disease.

  59. Order number 69448. Thank you so much for organizing this beautiful project. I have followed Bridget through her blog for the past 3 years or so, and she continues to inspire me. I’m my daughter’s Girl Scout leader and we’ve had a cheering station at the last 3 Atlanta 3-Day events. It’s one of the highlights of our year, and my daughter (aged 10) cannot wait until she is old enough to walk in one with me. Bridget has touched SO many lives, so many more than she can ever know. The legacy she is leaving behind is truly spectacular. She and her precious “Big Man” are in my prayers constantly, as well as her family and loved ones.


    Order 69451. While I have never had the pleasure of meeting Bridget I was lucky enough to meet her Mom, Dottie, in 2009.
    Dottie shared Bridget’s story of strength and determination. My thoughts and prayers are with Bridget and her family, they continue to a far reaching inspiration to many!

  61. Kristen Weinstein

    order # 69450 We love Bridget so much! This is such a wonderful idea. We are honored to be part of it. Love, Kristen, Dan, and Kyla Weinstein

  62. MJ Kobus

    Order Number 69454 Has Successfully Been Completed!

    I feel priveleged to hear of Bridget and am inspired by her courage. As a cancer survivor, I will remember her and all she has done to leave a powerful legacy. Blessings to Bridget and those dear to her.

  63. Wendy "TIGGER"Savoie

    Hi there, just ordered 4 pearls for Bridget.

    I am Wendy “TIGGER” Savoie from the Boston 3 day. Team Capt support services 2010-2012 walker 2004-2009.

    Bridget knows me as Tigger so if you sign names please use that. Thanks, What everyone is doing is awesome. Bridget is a great woman and a true inspiration to all us breast cancer survivors

    Order # 69453

    1. Wendy (TIGGER)–Thank you so much for sharing and your continued support of Bridget and the cause that is so important to all of us who are survivors, caregivers and supporters of those who are touched by this disease.

  64. Francesca

    PP 69459

    It’s just not fair. I know her personally and have been touched by her bubbly spirit. Her poor husband, my mentor. It’s all heart wrenching.

    1. Francesca…Thank you for reaching out here to share of your love and connection to Bridget, and to honor her by participating in this project. My heart goes out to you.

  65. Angela Orrico

    Dear Bridget, I have been following your story for the past year. I have never had the pleasure of meeting you,but I am sending you love and peace today. You can never be forgotten because God has chosen you to show us how to love unconditionally. May you be comforted by Our Lord and know He is with you always.w

  66. Betsy Pearsall

    Thank you for this incredible task you have undertaken! Order # 69116 was placed on Dec 29,2012, in Honor of Bridget, from her SF 3Day Sistahs….. Terry Ashby, Sarah Bourke, Patty Ellis Gourley, Dana R. Griffin-Morgan, Caterina Hall, Sylvia Hammer, Teresa Hirschauer, Barbara Marcellus, Elizabeth Parks, Betsy Jillson Pearsall, Erica Perez, Heather Sandoval and Sue Monaghan Williams….. a group of unrelated, solo walkers who found each other on Day 1 and forged a sisterhood through the 3Day experience. Peace be with you, Bridget. I had the honor of meeting you in person last year in Merrimack NH, and have been touched by you in ways that that I am still uncovering.

    Bridget will not be forgotten:

    “There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve — even in pain — the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.”

    ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    In love and blessings, Betsy

    1. Betsy…all of us, who have collectively worked in just 10 days to honor a woman who has so brilliantly lit up world in her special way, thank you and the SF 3Day Sistahs for your love and support. This has reminded us all that no one is “unrelated” or “solo” as we go through these experiences.

  67. Kimberly Clark

    Order ID: 69472, a strand of pink pearls for Bridget. I never had the pleasure of knowing Bridget, but she still had an impact on my life and I will never forget her. I am from Boston and work as a pre-clinical cancer researcher and, like so many others, have lost loved ones to this horrible disease. I hope I can find a way to contribute and make even half of the impact Bridget has. Bridget, you are my hero and I hope you know how much better the world is for having you in it! Please enjoy that drink with your Big Man. You have more than earned it.
    Sending love to you and your family,

    P.s. Coral, thank you for doing this. Like many others, I felt so heartsick after reading Bridget’s final post. I hope this beautiful gesture brings her comfort. Thank you!

    1. Kimberly…on behalf of all those who started and are actively working on this project (I just got the word within a different-reaching circle), thank you. Thank you for your story, your research, your dedication to finding a cure. And thank you for participating with us.

  68. Julie Lobdell

    Coral: Thanks for your part in this incredibly heartfelt project. When I read Bridget’s final blog post on 12/26, I sobbed uncontrollably. I then went back and read Bridget’s blog from the beginning, including all comments posted by readers. What I saw was a portrait in courage. I would like to pass this message to Bridget.

    Bridget: You asked us for nothing but gave us everything! How incredibly brave of you to take your fight against breast cancer to the blogosphere. At a time when most prefer to keep their fight private, you looked the beast right in the eye, stood tall and fought with everything you had. Coupled with the love of your family and The Big Man, you showed a level of grace and courage far beyond your years. We will honor your wish and use the example you set of living your life to the fullest to educate our loved ones. WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!

  69. Stephanie Reffey

    Order ID: 69487 — Bridget has been an inspiration to so many of us – she will certainly never be forgotten! I was so sad to read her blog and am glad that you have come up with such a special way to honor her life and her impact.

  70. Sandra Copman

    I just purchased a couple inches of multi-colored pearls – order number 69489 – for my young but so wise inspirational hero, Bridget, who will be taken from us all tragically far too soon. She has enriched my life since I met her around 2006, both of us newly into our survivorship but me, quite older though considered young by the docs but not like Bridget! I am still shocked by her diagnosis and age. I am a lucky breast cancer survivor but Bridget taught me all about grace and strength and fearlessness. I will miss her so much and of course never forget her and I will fight in her name till this awful disease is wiped out. It has taken too many. I bought a couple inches of several pearls of different shades to symbolize the many women I have known and lost – of all cultures – and the Komen family and purpose to which Bridget gave so much of herself – and will still give from above. Travel sweetly and peacefully, my friend. I can’t and won’t say goodbye. I will say thank you and bless you and see you on the other side one day. Sandra Copman

    1. Sandra…I absolutely love the words you have shared here. The sentiment behind your decision to send different shades for the many women is so poignant. Thank you for your continued outpouring of love and support. We must never give up hope for a cancer-free world!! Thanks for supporting this project.

      1. Sandra Copman

        Thank YOU Coral. This is simply amazing. Any updates on Bridget at this time?, and how are YOU doing? I realize you too are fighting cancer…I pray for you every day. I hope we can meet This is great that you are doing this. I wonder if we will be able to see a picture of the finished strand of Bridget pearls? Love, Sandi

      2. Sandra….thank you for your words of encouragement and support. As far as Bridget and her family, they have asked for the time they need together and those wishes are being honored. We all must continue to send out positive thoughts, energy and prayers. It has been an amazing project that is not yet finished, and we look forward to updating all on the progress of it with pictures, as soon as it is finished. Right now, the organizers are in contact with Pearl Paradise, and all projects are in the creative stage. As soon as we have pictures or updates, they will be announced, as appropriate. I am doing well, and need to get busy writing again! Stay tuned for more soon! Thank you again for your kindness!

  71. Order #69492

    With love and gratitude from the Florida Suncoast Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Bridget, please know that you have had a huge impact on all of us and will never be forgotten. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  72. Treasa Beyer

    Order # 69506
    Praying for Bridget and her family. I feel so honored to have spent 4 years of high school with Bridget. I’ll never forget her.

    1. Linda…how the pearls from Pearl Paradise are going to be handled is written in the blog post. Each of these pearls will be professionally hand strung after the project ordering deadline is complete. Once all are designed and hand-strung/knotted, the will take professional photos and then the PP pearls will be sent to Bridget. I will update my blog as we get more information. Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers to Bridget and family.

  73. Order # 69516

    Coral, Thank you so much for organizing this. I have followed Bridget on her blog since I was diagnosed. Though I have never met her personally, she has provided me so much strength, courage and sometimes just a good laugh. She and her Big Man have always been in my thoughts and prayers and I was heartbroken when I read her blog post. Being able to contribute with a Pearl means so much to me.

    Bridget, Thank you for sharing your courage and big girl pants with me. I am sure that I am not the only one who asks herself “What Would Bridget Do?” My husband and I will never forget you.

    1. Amanda…I am honored to be assisting in this project that was organized by some amazing women, and has been supported by so many women and men who are inspired by Bridget. Thank you for being a part of it.

  74. Viviana

    Thank you ladies for doing this special project for Bridget. She is truly a beautiful person, inside and out. i’m lucky to have her in my life. all my love to b, spence, dottie & the mooney clan and little daisy…

    Order ID: 69525

  75. Nancy Rau

    Pearl Paradise order #69528 on the way to OH. Bridget is the bravest young woman I have had the privilege to meet. This project is a way for all that love and respect Bridget for her courage and grace to show Bridget that she will remain in our hearts forever with the gift of pearls. Pearls are the symbol of class, grace and timeless elegance all of which Bridget posesses.

  76. Brenda

    Pearl Paradise Confirmation # 69521. I first heard of Bridget on my very first 3-day walk in 2010 in D.C.. She spoke at dinner. I was shocked by what doctors first told her, but I was so inspired by her attitude and her courage, she brought me to tears. I thought “this is why we walk”. I have never met her, but I will never forget her. She and her family are in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless them all.

    1. Brenda…those who have met Bridget often say that she has “inspired” them. Thank you for your support of Bridget and for stepping out on the 3-Day road.

  77. Matt & Rebecca Borden

    My wife Rebecca and I met you last year at an Evening for (another) Bridget in Boston. As I later emailed to you, we were both so incredibly moved by your story, courage and enthusiasm. We think of you often and always will. We have puchased two pearls, one from each of my beautiful daughters who we know will be better off in thier lives because of the passion, sacrifice, attention and enthusiasm you have brought to this cause. With our love, Matt & Rebecca

    Order ID: 69537

  78. Maria Martinolich

    Pearl Paradise #: 69538.

    On behalf of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority at Boston University (Bridget’s alma mater), whose local philanthropy is Susan G. Komen and have heard about Bridget’s story at our annual Breast Cancer Awareness Week, we have all felt truly touched by Bridget’s story. She’s inspired us to live life every day to its fullest and always stay positive. We send her happy thoughts and prayers during this time.

    1. Thank you, Maria, for sharing this special comment…and to Gamma Phi Beta, thank you for honoring Bridget by participating in this project and your continued support to the cause to put an end to this disease.

  79. Kendell

    Pearl Paradise Order#: 69547

    What a wonderful way to celebrate such a special woman! Bridget is truly an inspiration. I admire her strength, grace and courage and continue to keep her and her family in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

  80. Sally Bilancia

    Order Number 69549 – Bridget has been so inspiring to all of us in the Komen family and we never forget her.
    -Sally Bilancia, Komen Maine

  81. Stephanie and Peter

    PearlParadise order # 69548-I was so lucky to have met Bridget, such an inspirational woman, I only met her once but think of her all the time..I met her at the 3day in 2011. She was a beautiful woman full of energy, you would never have known she had any worries in the world. Her smile was amazing and full of life..I am just so grateful to have met her…and to continue to share her story.

  82. Doris

    wat inspiration….im learning to live with brca1…caught my early …thanks to my 3sisters….you will never be forgotten..

  83. Brenda

    Bridget, I am certain you have read “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. You are a giving tree – providing complete strangers with inspiration, courage and grace. Your selfless gift of time has taught us how to live, laugh and love.

    One day I look forward to seeing your radiant smile and fighting for a place to sit near your stump. Until then…you will never be forgotten.

    Order 69563 in celebration of a life well-lived.

  84. I am not sure if my previous comment went through…
    My Order ID number is: 69543
    Bridget’s blog helped me through my own breast cancer diagnosis. It was as if she were walking with me every step of the way. I ordered an inch of pearls (about three) to represent mine, my mother’s, and my aunt’s battles with breast cancer. Thank you so much for setting this up. Bridget will never, ever be forgotten!

    1. Jessi…thank you for sharing your personal story and how Bridget “…(walked with you) ever step of the way.” Thank you for participating in this special project to honor her.

  85. Sarah

    Order # 69573
    I find it no surprise that Bridget loves pearls, seeing how she has shared so many pearls of wisdom with all of us throughout her journey. None of us are promised a tomorrow. Most don’t do much with today and don’t really appreciate it. Bridget has changed that for many. Nice soul work! Wishing her a loving and comforting journey. May we also all keep in mind every one Bridget represents countless others going through a similar journey but without benefit of the eloquence, bravery, or loving support that Bridget has had. Please keep those nameless, faceless, voiceless souls in your thoughts and prayers as well.

  86. heidi

    Order Number 69576. Thank you sarah for doing this project for my RPCS classmate. Bridget has and will forever be a true inspiration to all of us. She will never be forgotten.

  87. Kristen

    Order 69580
    Bridget will always be remembered as an incredibly couragious optimistic young woman.
    Thank you for creating this project.

  88. Katharine Fox Castro & Family

    Order number: 69581

    Bridget and I went to high school together. She was four years older, but always such a wonderful and positive influence. My heart breaks for Bridget and Alex and the Spence and Mooney families, but Bridget has had such a tremendous impact on so many people and has a legacy that will last forever. She is the bravest woman I know and so beautiful. I am so lucky to have known her personally!

  89. Venise

    Order # 69582
    I was diagnosed in June of 2013 with aggressive breast cancer – her words on each and every one of her entries helped me beyond any words I could type. She is amazing! (So is the “Big Man”). I have never had the privilage to meet her – but I feel like I know one of the most courageous individuals on the planet. I have prayed for her everyday. Thank you for letting me do this small thing for her – she has given me so much. I will never forget her!

  90. Kathy (Delauney) Bosse

    Order Number 69583.
    All my love to you Bridget 🙂 You will never be forgotten and will live on in the hearts of many. XO pretty lady 🙂

  91. Morgan Thompson

    Order Number 69586 – Bridget you and I were childhood neighbors, we carpooled to kindergarden and eventually became classmates again at RPCS and graduated together. I could never forget your smile, laugh and constant enthusiam. Thank you for showing me true strenght is and how to better face life. You have made more an an impact on me than you could ever know. Thank you xoxo Morgan

  92. susan20855

    Coral … I have never ever been asked to help a cause or a friend and received or seen immediate acknowledgements as as your heartfelt responces to all of us have been. I wish I knew you better. You are rare among God’s children.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Susan. Bridget and her story touch me on a very deep level for a multitude of reasons, though often unrelated. I am not always so good at “sending the thank you note,” as I was taught to do in “manners” class in Home Economics. (I wonder how many know what I am even talking about!? 😉 ) Using this blog as a way to follow-up is helpful for me. This project, and how it’s evolved, has allowed me to get involved in a way that I CAN follow-through. It (and ramping up to write more often in my own blog) is also giving me the courage to speak the truth–my truth–and share my story, being true to myself and the people around me. If you decide to read, follow, comment, etc. on my blog, perhaps you will get to know me better, and I you. I have to warn you, though…be careful what you ask for! 😉 Again, thank you for your reaching out and saying what you have. It means more to me that you realize right now. (P.S. The immediacy of the acknowledgement is simply that I am not working full-time, and stay up way too late than I should to try to maintain timeliness here with this particular project.)

  93. Maggie Kallmyer Klaes

    Order Number 69588. So happy that this project has gotten so much support! A very special gift for such an amazing and strong person! 🙂 It has been a privilege to know Bridget and I know that her story will forever touch my heart.

      1. Liz Wyman

        I couldn’t find any email address so I figured I would try to post here. I just found out about this project. It is Jan 13. If I ship overnight would it be ok? You could have it Tues, 1/15/12. Thanks for any info.


      2. Liz…I might suggest that you call Pearl Paradise directly and ask. They are actually making the pieces to ship to Bridget directly. Their phone number Phone: 310-474-8788 Toll Free: 888-507-3275 Fax: 310-474-8747 and they are on the west coast in Los Angeles. Thank you for your support of Bridget and this project.

  94. Order #69595 … I do not know Bridget but I heard about her and found her blog through Kathy and the Cup Crusaders here in MA. She needs to know how many lives she has touched and the difference she has made and I am happy to do my small part. Wishing all of you the very best!

  95. Amanda Bonaviri

    Order Number: 69599
    I had the pleasure of going to middle school, high school and college with Bridget. She is a beautiful person and has touched the lives of so so many people. The Spence and Mooney families are in our thoughts and prayers. Bridget, you will never be forgotten.
    Amanda and Brian Bonaviri

    1. Thank you so much, Amanda and Brian, for you support of Bridget and her family, as well as the project. So many have come together to honor her in this special way.

    1. Luba…thank you for checking in. As I responded to Sandra a few days ago, this amazing project is not yet finished, and we look forward to updating all on the progress of it with pictures, as soon as it is finished. Right now, Pearl Paradise is in process of creating the pieces for Bridget; there was an overwhelming response. As soon as they have been strung and knotted (each is hand done to the company’s highest of standards, a final count will be taken, the finished pieces will be delivered to Bridget, and Pearl Paradise will give us the results of the orders and the amount they will be donating in Bridget’s name to the Komen Foundation. And just as soon as we have pictures and the final results, announcements will be made. Thank you for your continued support and patience while the project continues in this phase.

      1. Judy Veron

        Just want to send a big THANK YOU to those that put this awesome tribute together! Coral, thanks for all the wonderful replies you gave to each and everyone of us who participated. Your heartfelt comments and continued encouragement has left impressions on many.
        Praying this is finding YOU strength and peace along your own journey. Remember HOPE is ETERNAL! God bless, XO

      2. Judy…thank you so very much for these words. This is a project that has become bigger than any of us dreamed. I simply have done what I know how to do; use my words (written or spoken) to reach others. When we look at our own particular talents and use them genuinely, and allow others to do what they do naturally, GREAT things happen. The hardest part for me is to let go and trust that process works and that I must wait sometimes. (Ooooooh….I feel a blog post coming on. 😉 I just cut a lot out of this response and will do so in a few days! )
        Thanks again for stopping by! 🙂

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