Earlier this year, WIN hosted its 2019 Educational Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During the three days, members listened to a variety of speakers who discussed the theme of “Navigating Tomorrow Together.” One of the keynote sessions featured “Headbands of Hope” founder, Jess Ekstrom. Back in 2012 after an internship with a wish-granting organization, she found that kids loved to wear headbands to express their style and personality after experiencing hair loss with chemotherapy cancer treatment.
During her WIN session, she spoke on how optimism creates a better reality in “Making Our Internal Dialogue Our Biggest Cheerleader.” “Everyone who has ever done something great had to believe they could be the one to do it,” said Ekstrom. “Everyone had to start somewhere. Why not here and why not you? Success doesn’t mean you have it all figured out, but it means you’re confident you’ll get there.”
After her session, the more than 200 WIN members in attendance participated in creating headbands that were later donated to children with cancer at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital located in Hollywood, Florida. Long-time WIN sponsor, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, sponsored the event, which provided the headbands and decorations that were used, and to show continued support, they also purchased 50 headbands directly from HeadbandsofHope.com and donated them on behalf of WIN.
“It was amazing to see how 200-plus women were all impacted by Jess’s story,” said Amanda Seyler, WIN Conference committee member. “There was laughter, tears and some great key learning points during Jess’s time with us. Everyone had their heartstrings pulled when we got to tell them that the headbands we created were going to be donated to children at the cancer center! It was such a special event.”