NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – One woman is proving that candles can help in the healing process, while raising money for cancer patients one little light at a time.
A dancing flame does a whole lot of good according to Lee Rhodes. She’s the founder of Glassybaby.
Rhodes was just 32 years-old with three young children when she was diagnosed for the third time with lung cancer.
“One of the first things someone gave me was a little hand blown cup,” Rhodes told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock.
The cancer patient dropped a tea light into it and came up with an idea.
“I felt a release and relaxed. I feel the same way today as then.”
While going through treatment, Rhodes realized people weren’t showing up because their basic needs weren’t being met.
“They were choosing between feeding their children and coming to chemotherapy… or being at their job and having to take the time off for chemotherapy… that impacted me in a profound way.”
Glassybaby was born out of the businesswoman’s garage back in the 90s.
By the end of December the Washington state based company – which is hosting a pop-up shop on Rivington Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side – will donate its 10 millionth dollar to charity.
Most of the money covers uncompensated cancer care – things like parking, tolls, and food. Some New York non-profits will also benefit from these hand blown votives.
One of those benefiting is the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
“It’s bright cheerful colorful and meaningful,” the society’s president, Jamee Gregory said.
Gregory says Glassybaby’s mission mirrors their own.
“Healing isn’t just about medicine. It’s about caring and love.”
Rhodes’ cause is also about hope. She’s hoping each glowing vessel inspires a deep breath and relaxation during a difficult time.
The 92nd Street Y, Girl Rising, and God’s Love We Deliver are also benefiting from Glassybaby’s sales. Each candle costs $50, with 10 percent of the sale going to charity.