Hi, my name is Sara Olsher, and I'm the founder of Mighty + Bright. I want to tell you a bit about myself, and why Mighty + Bright is so special to me.
I started this company for the same reason many parents start companies: because I wanted to help my own daughter and I invented a product to do it. But since then, it's become so much more. As my life has gone on, I've seen firsthand that the universe can deal some pretty harsh blows. As parents, we want nothing more than to see our children thrive - and nothing is more painful than knowing that we can't fix everything for them when things go wrong.
At 28, my daughter and I lived in a motel while we tried to find a new apartment. My husband and I had separated, and it was the beginning of my life as a single parent. Over the course of the next year, I struggled to help my daughter deal with the anxiety that comes from our situation, and I created the visual custody calendar to help her make sense of it all. The next few years were spent doing a lot of research, refining the calendar, and creating more visual aids. I was proud of what I'd created, and I knew I could make a difference in the lives of families going through this same transition.
When I was 34, everything seemed to be going well. I had a great job as a Marketing Director with wonderful co-workers, I'd finally found love, Mighty + Bright's custody calendars had received great press, and my daughter was thriving.
And then, at 4 p.m. on a Friday, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
A cancer diagnosis at any age is devastating, but at 34 it was both devastating and a complete shock. As I went from diagnosis to double mastectomy, chemo, and radiation, I could feel my world shifting around me, and I knew that I would never be able to look at the world the same way again.
Suddenly the things I thought were important weren't anymore, and I felt totally overwhelmed by the meaningless noise of the world.
Cancer taught me that what's important in life is our relationships. My friends and family rallied around me, lifted me up, and showed me that much of what we spend our lives worrying about is unimportant. What is important is making sure that we stand by what matters to us, we focus on what is real, and we spend our time caring for ourselves and others.
Mighty + Bright is about helping families handle the really hard things in life. I couldn't control my cancer diagnosis, but I could control how responded to it, and the message that I sent to my daughter. That message is this: live your truth. Don't hide from the hard stuff, because it'll come whether you try to avoid it or not.
Here's what it looked like to include my daughter in the process of my cancer treatment, which removed a lot of anxiety for her. I let her cut my hair before we shaved it.
Day 15 after my first chemo: I let my 7 year-old cut my hair (she was VERY EXCITED, check out the bald spot I ended up with!), then Bear shaved it.Posted by Sara Olsher on Wednesday, November 15, 2017
At the end there, you might detect a bit of pink in my daughter's hair. When I first learned that I needed to have chemo, she wanted to shave her head too. I told her she could do whatever she wanted to support me, and in the end both she and my mom colored pink streaks in their hair.
I decided to share my experience with cancer via a blog, mostly because writing is a catharsis for me and it helps me make sense of what I'm facing. If you'd like to follow, I'd love to have you.
My goal for Mighty + Bright is to help families face the hard stuff in life, head on. I hope you will find the tools here to make it easier and the inspiration you need to keep going, even on the bad days.
Thank you for being here.