ATHENS, OH (WCMH) — A central Ohio teenager is making a difference for breast cancer research after finding out her mother was diagnosed with the disease. The young entrepreneur raised more than $100,000 for charity.
Jordan Phillips is only 13 years old and came up with Cozys for a Cure after she found out her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago.
“You take your cozy and you slide it up onto your cup and then it keeps it so you don’t burn your hands,” says Phillips. “I started making them in 2015 when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.”
Her mother Nicole Phillips tells NBC4’s Elyse Chengery that cancer does not run in her family, and she was surprised to be diagnosed.
“Being diagnosed with breast cancer is terrifying but even more than being terrified myself I think my family was really scared,” Nicole says.
“It was scary, not knowing especially in those first couple weeks when we didn’t know how bad it was. Things like that. Even if she was going to live,” says Jordan Phillips.
Nicole remembers when her kids went to their dad with questions.
“They asked him things like, ‘Is mom going to die?’ and you know, that’s the thing is that we didn’t have an answer. We just knew we had to take it day by day and we had to figure it out and we had to figure it out as a family. Jordan really wanted desperately to help, she wanted to do something to make it better.”
Months later Nicole Phillips went through a mastectomy and later found out she was cancer free but her daughter kept raising money for Susan G. Komen and started selling the cozys.
“The idea just popped in my head one day. I saw some coffee like cardboard coffee sleeves that you get just at your coffee shop and someone had doodled on them. I thought this would be cool to do with fabric” adds Jordan.
After a year of meetings and prototypes the coffee cozys went even further. Greensource, one of the apparel suppliers for Komen for a Cure, took note of Jordan’s idea and contacted Walmart.
“I finally got to go to Walmart headquarters and they bought 207,000 of them. I started crying I was like, ‘oh my gosh, this is awesome.’ You can see them in stores starting September 1st and so get out there and get your own, because your purchase does go to help the Susan G. Komen foundation,” Jordan says. “It’s not just buying a coffee cup cozy because it looks fun and cute but also because you’re helping real people.”
Walmart will stock the cozys in nearly 1,550 of their USA stores for $1.97 each starting Sept. 1. Greensource and Cozys for a Cure will donate 35 cents of each cozy sold to Komen for a Cure.
Click for a list of all the stores nationwide that will sell Cozy for a Cure: Cozy for a Cure store list
In Ohio, the cozys will be sold in Athens, Columbus, Bellefontaine, Wilmington, Lima, Sidney, Van Wert, West Union, Lebanon, Troy, Napoleon, Celina, Port Clinton, Xenia, Dayton, Cincinnati, New Boston, Heath, Marysville, Sandusky, Findlay, Marion, Lorain, Mentor, Fairlawn, Bowling Green, Macedonia, Norwalk, Greenville, Austintown, Cleveland, Marietta, Bryan, Steubenville, Cortland, Strongsville, West Chester, Streetsboro, Wauseon, North Olmsted, Ashtabula, North Canton, South Euclid, Springfield, Hamilton, Ravenna, Alliance, Gallipolis, Lewis Center, Massillon, Wadsworth, Lima, Aurora, Washington Court House, Wilmington, Chardon, Amelia, Holland, Whitehall, Hillsboro, Middletown, Madison, Newark, Kent, Franklin, Lancaster, Elyria, Perrysburg, Oregon, Toledo, Avon, Parma, Mayfield Heights, Moraine, Canal Winchester, Defiance, Clayton, Mansfield, and Milford.