It’s well-known that people who undergo treatment for cancer are likely to lose their hair. They’re also prone to losing their nails, and even their skin as it blisters and peels. They’re some of the discomforts that cancer patients experience but often don’t share.
And, even though the evidence shows that one in nine Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, we are ever hopeful it won’t be us. And it’s true; the numbers don’t matter, until you’re the one. Or near the one.
That’s exactly what happened to Cindy Hope, whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
“Life changes,” she says. “One day it’s this, and the next it’s that.”
Cindy and her husband Kevin could hardly think about adding another responsibility to their already thriving dairy goat business as the co-owners of Cross Wind Farm.
But the responsibility chose them, and now Cindy spends time with her mother, driving to medical appointments, waiting for doctors, and hoping for positive news. And pondering how to make a difference.
“When I sat back, waiting with my mom and listening to her stories about people she’d met in the cancer world who didn’t have the family support, I started to feel lucky; we have that support. But I also started thinking: I have a business that can contribute more than writing a cheque,” she says.
The “more” is a natural goat milk soap gentle enough to caress radiated skin, and scented with essential oils that offer healing beyond the skin. It’s being sold as a limited edition, only until October 31st, with $2 from each bar going to help women everywhere who have breast cancer, through the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
“It is symbolic to do a project with my mother at this time. It gives us something to focus on. It fills a void,” Cindy says. Mother and daughter began talking about the possibilities.
One of the things that had made a difference in Cindy’s mom’s journey was the giveaway bags of products that are made available to cancer patients. Those small goodie bags are sometimes the only good thing in some cancer patients’ journeys, Cindy says.
“It can be so challenging, with the loss of so many things,” she explains.
Cindy says her mother talked about how her skin was so tender and sensitive, and, Cindy, being in the business of making soap, immediately thought of the possibilities.
Research and development included finding the right texture, the right products, the right scents, the right packaging, and the right sponsor.
“We had to ensure we had the right product for anyone going through cancer,” Hope says.
In the end, the Tranquility Bar is a 100% pure natural goat milk soap that is scented only with essential oils chosen by Cindy’s mother as the most healing for a cancer patient. There is a hint of ylang ylang, citrus and lavender — each recommended for those with cancer.
And it’s pink, but Cindy laughs about that — “it’s the landmark colour for breast cancer. It just made sense!”
Cindy’s mom is now undergoing radiation therapy to shrink the tumour in the hope that chemotherapy will be effective.
“When something like this happens to you and your family, making meals and getting to appointments is one thing,” Cindy says, “but being able to feel some comfort, some relief, midst the pain and worry — well, you can’t put a price on that.”
The response has been, in Cindy’s words, “amazing.” She has received numerous emails and phone calls from women with similar stories who support the effort because they’ve suffered loss, or want to generate hope.
“Some people buy one or two bars; others eight or 20 bars,” she says. Some have been shipped as far as Africa.
“Just think,” Cindy says, “from our small farm in Keene, Ontario, the soap is going to incredible places. I feel so lucky.”
The Tranquility Bar launched September 7th and is available online at www.crosswindfarm.ca, in the store (1616 Villiers Line, Keene, 705-295-6049), and at farmers’ markets until October 31st.
About Cross Wind Farm
Built on the family century-old family homestead on Villiers Line where Kevin Hope milked his first cows as a young boy, the renovated, rejuvenated Cross Wind Farm (2006) has come to house one of the province’s most prolific and celebrated goat farms.
Cindy Hope says it was the desire for a new challenge, the promise of a diverse range of products, and the quirky personality of goats that inspired her and her husband to consider the shift to goat farming. Cindy was a marketer; Kevin was a farmer. Both wanted a healthy, productive and promising lifestyle. Goats, it was.
And, after less than two years, the Ontario Dairy Goat Co-operative named Cross Wind Farm’s product as the best quality goat milk in the province, three years running. In 2008, the Hopes added a meat and soap line, and in 2010, a pasteurization facility followed by a new vat for yogurt production the following year, always keeping in mind their goal of diversification in products. The 100-acre farm also features a country store.
It won the the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence in 2011, and Cross Wind’s Seasoned Feta placed first at the 2012 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair; its Cranberry Orange Chevre won the same award in 2013. Also in 2013, Cross Wind Farm won a recognition award from the County of Peterborough.
With a range of products now ranging from cleansing milk, soap and body butter, to Chevre, milk and meat, Cross Wind Farm’s “First Lady” says they have now separated out their body products into the Happy Body line.
kawarthaNOW.com is pleased to donate this article to help promote the sales of Tranquility soap.