Danielle Callaghan, 29, was happily engaged to her high school sweetheart and looking forward to a full life with her first child. But just two months after giving birth to her daughter, Joey, Danielle’s world was torn apart by the news that she had stage four breast cancer. Her doctors described her condition as ‘manageable, not curable’, but Danielle is a fighter and she’s not giving up. Her story is sadly the same for over millions of women in the world. Breast cancer will affect 1 in 8 women in their lifetime.
Patients like Danielle often cut off their hair before chemotherapy makes it fall out. Against Breast Cancer gave Danielle the opportunity to do something incredible with her hair – to turn a lock of it into a beautiful diamond that carries a worldwide message of hope and helps raise essential funds for research.
I wanted my hair to be useful, to be as precious to others as it was to me. Just because I have breast cancer doesn’t mean I can’t help fight this disease. The World’s Most Precious Stone will embody my story, my life and the funds it will raise will help others in their fight…”
Danielle’s lock of hair was transformed into a perfect 1.59 Carat diamond. But how was it done?
Dean VandenBiesen, whose US company Lifegem created Danielle’s diamond, explains: “The process begins with a small lock of hair collected during a haircut. Once captured, the carbon from the hair is heated to extremely high temperatures under special conditions. This process converts the carbon to graphite with unique characteristics. The graphite is then placed in a “diamond press” which replicates the heat and pressure deep within earth. The more time in the press, the larger the rough diamond crystal is.” The stone thus-formed is a high-quality certified diamond: “All diamonds are then inspected, graded, and identified by world renowned gemologists. The world’s finest jewelers use this same certification process. A diamond that takes millions of years to occur naturally can now be created from the carbon of a lock of hair in about twenty-four weeks. We were happy to donate our services to this campaign so we can help strengthen cancer awareness and raise much needed funds”, says Dean VandenBiesen.
So far the world's most precious stone campaign has raised: