When Macarena Zilveti learned that breast cancer was a gene related disease,  she knew that she had to follow all the necessary procedures for early detection.  After all, her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother were breast cancer survivors.

She also knew she wanted to help other victims, especially those who needed financial assistance for treatments. Macarena followed her heart and created the Badges of Courage Foundation, a non-profit organization that pays tribute to her family and helps raise funds to provide financial assistance to patients who are struggling with breast cancer.

This past summer while attending an Upside Thinking business women’s networking event, Macarena, a graphic designer, was introduced to Debra Cortese, an artist and handbag designer. The two women instantly decided to collaborate and together they created the Healing Badge of Courage, a custom designed, limited edition, soft-sculpture for the Badges of Courage Foundation.

Badges of Courage are pillow-like soft-sculptures made to resemble the female breast. They are handmade by women who have been directly or indirectly affected by breast cancer. They are designed and hand-beaded with love and a desire to pay tribute to breast cancer survivors. Every Badge of Courage includes an inspirational word on the back.

The fabric print for the Healing Badge Limited Edition features a Cortese Design ‘Healing Pink Mussaenda”, one of a series of custom designed images that emanate with the healing energies of nature. Macarena and Debra selected this pattern for its sensuous light and warm red/pink tones. The pattern is based on an image that Cortese photographed of a voluptous mussaenda that grows at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida.

Badges of Courage Foundation is focused not only on helping cancer patients the tranquility and hope they need in fighting this disease, but also on creating collectible and functional products that continually reinforce the positive messages of love and healing. They are already working on designs for a new line of products that will include the Courage Clutch, a hand-beaded small purse meant to give women courage and inspiration, as well as a series of Badges of Courage cushion covers.

For more information on the Badges of Courage Foundation, visit their website at: <http://www.badgesofcouragefoundation.org> or call 305-529-1174.

Editor’s note: I met Macarena during the Empowered Women’s Business Summit in Miami last Month and was so excited about what she was doing that I immediately asked her to submit her story.  These Badges of Courage are even more beautiful in person. Be sure to check them out.