Rebecca and her Uncle Tony
By Rebecca Zuj, Jeweller and creator of the HOPE pendant
My uncle Tony was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour at the beginning of 2015. He became very unwell and underwent surgery to remove the tumour, which meant that he had to sell his business, Indulge Contemporary Silver Jewellery. That led me and my husband to purchase it later that year.
Uncle Tony's first operation went well. Even though he was unwell from his chemotherapy and radiation, he still managed to teach me so much about running the business. During our handover, he mentioned that before he was diagnosed, he was thinking of starting up his own sterling silver jewellery range and calling it Santo, short for 'Sandy' and 'Tony'. My auntie's name is Sandy. This has always stuck with me.
Unfortunately, my uncle's tumour grew back and he had a second operation in 2016. He became very unwell again. I was so happy that he was able to attend my wedding in October last year, but after that, things went downhill.
He passed away in December last year at the age of just 48, and two weeks before Christmas. He leaves behind his wife (my auntie), five children, and many other loving family members and friends.
Tony was an absolutely amazing man, who would do anything for anyone. As a legacy to him - and with the approval of my auntie - my husband and I have recently started a jewellery collection called Santo Jewellery. We launched the range in our store in March this year and it is proving really popular.
To honour Uncle Tony and help raise funds for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, the collection includes the HOPE pendant. $30 from each one sold will go directly to Cure Brain Cancer Foundation to help fund vital brain cancer research. We miss Tony every day, but I know that he would be so proud and I am delighted that we can continue to honour his memory in this way.
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