DIABETES JEWELRY

Teens start handmade jewelry business to benefit diabetes causes

2011-02-09T00:00:00Z 2011-02-09T07:21:41Z Teens start handmade jewelry business to benefit diabetes causesBy CINDY UKEN Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
February 09, 2011 12:00 am  • 

She has the creative genius. He has the business savvy.

Together, Micah Marie Lynch, 18, and Ben Rose, 19, are launching a unique jewelry business designed to help raise money to help those with diabetes. It is a personal crusade.

Lynch, who was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when she was 12 years old, has since relied on an insulin pump 24/7.

The small plastic caps used in the pumping process, about 10 of them a month, would often lie around or get tossed in the garbage.

Surely there was a bigger purpose for them, she thought. And, there is.

Three yeas ago, the crafty teen began making jewelry from the caps, designing them with brightly colored acrylic paints.

At a craft table in her Billings Heights bedroom, the homeschooled teen has created an entire line of earrings, pendants and bracelets. She wears much of it and gives much of it as gifts to those who have "always watched out" for her.

Now she wants to sell it and donate some of the profits to American Diabetes Association research, camps for diabetic kids and for diabetic supplies for local children whose families cannot afford them. An insulin pump can cost as much as $6,000.

"These organizations have given so much to me, especially through my camp experiences," said Lynch, a former camper-turned-counselor.

"Camp was just fantastic for a kid with diabetes because you feel so isolated. They make it easy to be a kid."

Rose, a freshman at Rocky Mountain College, saw Lynch wearing some of the jewelry and saw the potential of using it as a way to give back.

Rather than throwing the caps away, "we're throwing them to a cure," said Rose who has built and designed a website to market the jewelry.

Their effort also has the support of Rocky's Students in Free Enterprise, which encourages students to use their business knowledge to develop entrepreneurial efforts in the community.

SIFE teams work throughout the year to conceive, develop and implement projects that create a lasting, sustainable influence in the world.

SIFE, which is both a class and organization, can't offer financial support for Lynch's project, but it is writing both a business and a marketing plan for her venture.

With environmental and economic crisis bombarding the media from all sides, it is too easy to forget that capitalism has created some of the greatest humanitarian works in our world, said Karen Beiser, RMC's faculty adviser to SIFE.

"The role of SIFE is to teach business principles in a way we can apply them in real, everyday life to make the world a better place," Beiser said.

Both Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare are on board as well. Each has agreed to serve as collection sites for insulin pump caps.

The jewelry sells for between $10 and $18 and bears such names as the Micah Marie Rainbow Bracelet and the Micah Marie Cotton Candy Bracelet.

"You, me and a pump cap bracelet; together we will find a cure," Lynch said.

To learn more, visit her website at www.micahmarie.com.

 

 

Contact Cindy Uken at cuken@billingsgazette.com or 657-1287.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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