A rising senior at the University of Notre Dame, Kate Bockholt has been working toward a world without cancer for half her life.
We first met Kate when she was 12 years old and already making incredible strides to raise money for cancer research. Inspired by her mother Stacy’s struggle with Hodgkin Lymphoma, she created Kate’s Cure where they sold handmade jewelry, with all proceeds going to the Cancer Research Institute (CRI).
Now 21-years-old, Kate is focused on a professional path to fight cancer. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Science with a major in neuroscience and a minor in compassionate care in medicine. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Master of Education and participate in the ACE Teaching Fellowship for two years, before moving on to medical school and becoming a surgical oncologist.
Recently, she began making jewelry again, transitioning from Kates’ Cure to Our Cause, to support an array of nonprofit organizations, including the Cancer Research Institute. We caught up with Kate to learn more about her fundraising and jewelry making.
What is the inspiration behind Our Cause?
When I was eleven, my mom was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, after having non-Hodgkin lymphoma when she was pregnant with me. Seeing how my mom was affected by cancer and knowing how many other people are affecting in similar ways inspired me to do something, though I was unsure what to do or how I could make a difference. With the help of my mom, I began making necklaces like she did for her business, creating them myself and donating 100% of profits to the Cancer Research Institute. As I got older, orders slowed, then stopped, and I found myself without much time to dedicate to marketing and outreach once I got to college.
In light of the increase in awareness of the need for racial equity with the Black Lives Matter movement, I began making jewelry again and donated all profits to organizations in support of racial justice and equality. I was inspired to start this endeavor back up, rebranding from Kate’s Cure (named when I was 11) to Our Cause and allowing customers to choose which cause they’d like to support from a list of select nonprofit organizations, including CRI. In short, my mom inspired Our Cause from the beginning, and both she and the ongoing fight for justice for all inspired me to continue this work today.
What is the inspiration behind the jewelry you make?
The inspiration behind the jewelry I make is mostly based upon what beads I find and what I envision when starting a new design. A lot of what I make takes ideas from jewelry I’ve seen on other people, but much of it is just what I like when I buy new supplies or sit down to create new jewelry. It’s something that’s super fun and a creative outlet for me. I love to find new ideas and inspiration for my jewelry!
Why did you decide to create a brand fully committed to nonprofits?
The original purpose of all of this entire endeavor was to help support cancer patients and cancer research in order to make any sort of small difference. That goal has continued to be my focus, rather than personal profit. Making jewelry is something I love to do, and I have a lot of fun being creative. I am happy to be able to spend my time combining a hobby with an opportunity to potentially make a difference and help others.
Why did you choose the Cancer Research Institute?
The Cancer Research Institute not only was exactly what I was hoping for in terms of a nonprofit for cancer research and progress for future cancer patients, but also was a place where I found fantastic contacts to help me with this process—both in 2012 when I first began all of this and still today as I rebrand and continue this work. I am so grateful for the work that CRI does and the people I have had the opportunity to connect with through CRI. I cannot wait to continue working with CRI through Our Cause!
Purchase Kate’s Jewelry at Our Cause
Learn how to donate a portion of the proceeds of your product, service, or event to cancer research.