Holding on to Hope

When I opened my computer a decade ago to start what would become Pink Hope, I truly had no expectations around what I wanted it to become, I just wanted to make sense of what my family had been through and what my children may go through in the future. I was frightened, I was confused and I no longer wanted to feel alone in what I was facing.

Navigating a risk of cancer is complex and honestly, Pink Hope was created as much for me as it was for anyone else. To this day it has filled a void – that the fear of cancer had slowly eaten away in my life for as long as I could remember.

As I look back over the last decade I remember the late nights, hard work, challenging moments and the times I was often put into situations where I questioned “Is this really what I signed up for?”. However, if you ask any business owner, entrepreneur or founder they will all say the same thing, “It was so hard but it’s so worth it!”

Establishing Pink Hope from the ground up has taught me so much. I gained grit, skills and determination because when it’s just you – (AKA – there is no funding so you can’t hire anyone) you are in charge of everything. I learnt everything from having to develop the skills on the job. I remember one time, a TV station called and said “Can we talk to your marketing manager?”. At this point I was working out of a wardrobe in my home with a lamp and a small computer. Suffice to say at that point – it was just me, myself and I.

But GOSH! I could never say it was only me that enabled its success. I have been supported and inspired by too many people to name. Where we are today isn’t just because of one person – it never was and it never will be.

It’s the endless supporters who have been with us from day one and the countless people who continue to join and support our mission for a better future every week that enable our success.

While Pink Hope may be my families legacy, it is the responsibility of us all to be a part of its future.

I have given the last 10 years of my life to Pink Hope, including considerable time away from my children and working for the first few years earning nothing or next to nothing. But this is certainly not a pity party because would I change any of it? No! It has brought me to a point in my life where I feel proud of myself and of what I have achieved.

I have done and seen things that I would have never imagined possible from – receiving a personal request to meet Angelina and Brad, becoming a published author, hosting an event at Kirribilli house, launching a genetic testing program, creating some of the countries most successful partnerships and activations in the NFP space, launching breast cancer month at NASDAQ and speaking at the counsel-generals in New York.

As much as I will always cherish those amazing moments – it’s the emails, messages and phone calls I have received over the years where people have said “you saved my life” – they are the ones I am most proud of. They are the ones that truly define my success.

Would I be the person I am today without Pink Hope? I really doubt it.

Pink Hope gave me purpose when I needed it, Pink Hope gave me a legacy that my family needed, Pink Hope gave me a chance to focus on the positives when cancer had always only shown me the negatives and most importantly it gave me hope. Hope that the future will be brighter for our next generation, my children.

I feel like I am at a point in my life and career where I am ready to venture out from my role at Pink Hope and I am looking forward to seeing what I am truly capable of and to challenge myself in other areas.

The health challenges that I have faced over the last few years have really given me a new perspective, that this life is a “once off” and we cannot go back and do it again. So I encourage everyone to look for inspiration and opportunity – and gravitate towards it.

So what does all of this mean for Pink Hope? It just means that I won’t be in our office day to day. Next year I will be handing over the operational reins to my amazing team, some of which are volunteers and staff who have been with me for over 6 years and who I trust wholeheartedly. As part of this, we are excited to announce we have a new Operations Director joining our team to ensure our vision for Pink Hope continues to grow stronger each day.

My role within Pink Hope is simply changing. I will ensure we are on track strategically, be the host at key events where needed, speak on issues for the organisation in media and mentor our new operations manager and team. I am excited to get back to the reason of why I created Pink Hope all along which is to help every Australian woman know her risk and change her future.

I believe that it’s important for every founder to realise when its “time”. My baby, Pink Hope, has made it through her toddler and adolescent years – she has wings of her own now and she deserves to see what life is like without her Mumma watching her every move. We have all been there right!?

I will still always be that 25 year old girl who got her laptop out straight after her double mastectomy determined to make my mum, my Nan and my children proud. I feel like finally in my life I have truly done that.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy but most importantly healthy 2019!

With love and hope,

Krystal. x

Read Pink Hope’s latest blog ‘Ten Years On’ here.

Leave your comment

Your email address will not be published.