Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Danielle will share her story and invite people to donate to raise the value of the diamond made from a lock of her hair, making it the most precious stone in the world.
Against Breast Cancer will use the funds raised by the diamond to continue lifesaving research into secondary spread, the main cause of breast cancer related deaths.
Danielle Callaghan, 29, was happily engaged to her high school sweetheart and looking forward to a full life with her first child. But just two months after giving birth to her daughter, Joey, Danielle’s world was torn apart by the news that she had stage four breast cancer. Her doctors described her condition as ‘manageable, not curable’, but Danielle is a fighter and she’s not giving up.
Her story is sadly the same for over millions of women in the world. Breast cancer will affect 1 in 8 women in their lifetime.
Patients like Danielle often cut off their hair before risking losing it gradually during chemotherapy. We gave Danielle the opportunity to do something incredible with her hair – to turn a lock of it into a beautiful diamond that carries a worldwide message of hope and helps raise essential funds for breast cancer research.
I wanted my hair to be useful, to be as precious to others as it was to me. Just because I have breast cancer doesn’t mean I can’t help fight this disease. The World’s Most Precious Stone will embody my story, my life and the funds it will raise will help others in their fight…”
How Danielle’s lock of hair was transformed into the most precious stone
Dean VandenBiesen, whose US company Lifegem created Danielle’s diamond, explains: “The process begins with a small lock of hair collected during a haircut. Once captured, the carbon from the hair is heated to extremely high temperatures under special conditions. This process converts the carbon to graphite with unique characteristics. The graphite is then placed in a diamond press which replicates the heat and pressure deep within earth. The more time in the press, the larger the rough diamond crystal is. The stone thus-formed is a high-quality certified diamond. All diamonds are then inspected, graded, and identified by world renowned gemologists. The world’s finest jewelers use this same certification process. A diamond that takes millions of years to occur naturally can now be created from the carbon of a lock of hair in about twenty-four weeks. We were happy to donate our services to this campaign so we can help strengthen cancer awareness and raise much needed funds.
The diamond was sent to Paris, where renowned celebrity jewelry designer Pascale Monvoisin designed a unique gold necklace to house the stone. “Danielle wanted a yellow diamond because it symbolizes the sun, strength, and light,” Pascale says.
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, people across the world will be invited to donate on the website mostpreciousstone.com to help make Danielle’s diamond the most precious stone in the world, even more
The diamond will be exhibited at The Centre for Cancer Immunology at the University of Southampton throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It will act as a symbol of every patient’s fight against the disease. It will then be presented to Danielle to treasure and pass on to her daughter, Joey.
A short, intimate film about the campaign has been shot by Dutch director Nina Aaldering to give everyone a glimpse into Danielle’s life. It is an ode to her courage and will move and inspire people worldwide to join the fight, donate, and make Danielle’s diamond the world’s most precious stone.
The campaign launched worldwide on the 1st of October. Film, website, additional video content, newsletter, print ads in UK magazines, influencers, and social media will help make Danielle’s diamond the World’s Most Precious Stone.
So far the world's most precious stone campaign has raised:
This diamond hasn’t decorated any throne or been worn by queens. It’s not thousands of years old, but it still has an incredible story: My story, which is the story of millions of women with breast cancer.