Breast Cancer Patient Helps Fellow Chemo Patients Find Their 'Sparkle' During Treatment: 'Cancer Can't Take That Away'
"I shouldn t be dressed for doom and gloom, I need to come dressed for a party, Robyn Adams tells PEOPLE
When Robyn Adams first started chemo treatments for Stage 4 breast cancer, she showed up like most patients, dressed comfortably, wearing a sweatsuit.
But after her first round of chemo in May 2015, Adams, who is the head of an early learning center, decided to change things up.
“I thought, ‘I have all this jewelry, I need to wear it. I shouldn’t be dressed for doom and gloom, I need to come dressed for a party.’ ” she tells PEOPLE.
So Adams began what she calls “The Sparkle Project.”
The 47-year-old single mother of three started wearing heels and picking out pieces of jewelry the night before each scheduled appointment at the Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I decided to wear my jewelry and sparkle because cancer can’t take that away. It can take a lot of things away, but it can’t take that away,” she says.
And she wanted to make sure others sparkled ,too.
Friends and family donated jewelry and Adams, who wears a hot pink wig since losing most of her hair, quietly roams the floors each week looking for fellow cancer patients, bags of shiny gifts in hand.
“That was very nice of her,” Deborah Downer says. Downer is undergoing chemo as she battles lung cancer. “It’s a pretty neat project. Anything we can do to bring up morale.”
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Doctors and nurses have been so taken with Robyn, several at the hospital have also donated to the cause.
Ellen Hubbard is on her 69th chemo treatment. She was shocked when Robyn approached with a bag full of goodies to choose from.
“I think it’s great. It’s great!” It’s your attitude, you’ve got to really fight and have a really good attitude. Cancer is a fight,” she says.
Charlotte-based jewelry company Towne and Reese heard about the Sparkle Project and co-founder Christi Pack surprised Robyn by donating more than 150 pieces of jewelry for her to give away.
“She’s amazing! Look at her and her positive outlook and her love for life and her love for others. It’s truly unbelievable and we wanted to do anything we could do to help spread that,” Pack tells PEOPLE.
Robyn’s dad, who volunteers as a chemo buddy at LCI, helps with The Sparkle Project and started a GoFundMe page in her honor.
“I am so proud of her,” Frank DeLuise tells PEOPLE. “I don’t know where she gets the strength from.”
“I just wanted to bring a little sparkle to everybody,” Robyn says. “Hopefully, it makes us feel a little better when we’re here. I just feel if you come doom and gloom, you’re gonna feel that way. So if you sparkle, it makes it just a little better.”