About the Designers
Sherry L. Abbott
Sherry has been designing and selling jewellery since she was 10 years old.
Growing up in Leamington Ontario, her Mother would frequently take her, and Sister Michele, to a trading post in Point Pelee. It was there they purchased beads and trinkets to make their beloved pieces, which they sold at a local consignment shop or the annual Tomato Festival at Seacliff Park.
During her teenage years Sherry’s love for designing and making jewellery flourished. She became an avid collector of African trade beads and intricate metal antiquities from middle-eastern countries.
Then in 1989 Sherry’s life came to an abrupt halt when she was diagnosed with a rare form of metastatic ovarian cancer.
With inoperable tumours around her heart Sherry was told she had no chance for survival. Despite her grim prognosis, she remains grateful for her dedicated network of supporters — medical professionals, family, caregivers, co-survivors, and friends who were always there to encourage her on the darkest of days. She would tell you “Because they never gave up on me, I never gave up on myself”. She was determined to survive.
After six months of aggressive cancer treatment the medical profession declared her as being cured of the cancer that threatened her life. Today Sherry is recognized as one of the world’s longest living survivors of metastatic ovarian cancer.
Sherry celebrated being five years cancer free on her 35th birthday, the same day she received the Prestigious Diamond Award from the Variety Club for her outstanding contribution to the community. It was also the day she decided not let cancer define her life and decided to embark on a new career opportunity in Southeast Asia. Sherry moved to Jakarta in May of 1995 where she ran Indonesia’s largest international cosmetic business for almost four years.
It was like a dream come true since life in this exotic part of the world enabled her to meet with artisans across the Indonesian Archipelago and surrounding countries. She collecting everything from rare beads, pearls and Balinese silver to antique furniture, art, fabrics and an assortment of Objects D’Art.
Over the past forty years Sherry’s passion for travel and has taken her around the world countless time. She has conducted business and supported philanthropic initiatives across North and South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and India. She continues to search out new adventure destinations in her quest to find unique beads, semi-precious stones, crystals, artifacts and other global baubles for her jewellery designs.
Sherry studied silversmith and jewellery design with under the tutelage of award winning designer Shao-Pin Chu in Toronto’s Distillery District.
In 2016, Sherry was once again diagnosed with cancer, this time breast cancer. She confronted the disease and its treatment with the same steadfast determination, hope and optimism that she did so many years before. Still undergoing hormonal treatment, today she continues to lives a full and active life and travels far and wide in search of exquisite materials for the pieces she designs.
Sherry is Vice President, Business Development at Pinnacle Cosmetics in Toronto. She’s as passionate as ever about her philanthropic and charitable work and represents the beauty industry’s charitable initiative–Look Good Feel Better– as its Global Ambassador.
This empowering cancer support program is offered in 27 countries around the world. In this volunteer capacity, Sherry is especially proud to build on her personal cancer experiences and reflect the voices of women and their families impacted by cancer and its treatment.
As a dedicated cancer care advocate Sherry is committed to doing her part to advocate, educate and bring awareness about the vital need for supportive care programs for those impacted by the disease.
Marilyn J. Hundleby, PhD
Dear friend to Sherry, Dr. Marilyn Hundleby, clinical psychologist and Director of programs at Wellspring Edmonton, continues to be an innovative source of inspiration and creative collaboration.
Marilyn’s professional work with people diagnosed with cancer, coupled withd her steadfast passion for creative initiatives, evolved into one of the world’s original Arts in Medicine programs.
Marilyn would enthusiastically tell you “Arts in Medicine is about embracing life and healing through the self-empowering act of creativity”.
Marilyn has developed workshops that range from sculpting to soapstone carving, from photography to painting, from fibre arts to beadwork and everything in-between ranging from gardening to cooking, music and dance. Cancer patients as well as caregivers, family members, health care professionals and volunteers have discovered what artists have known for centuries: that the creative process is liberating to the body and uplifting to the mind and spirit.
For more than 30 years Marilyn has brought together professional artists—local, national and international alike, to share their knowledge and teach the Arts in Medicine workshop programs she’s developed.
Marilyn was the founder and former Director, Arts in Medicine Program, Cross Cancer Institute. She has and continues to be a beacon of hope to countless individuals facing cancer and their families.
Together Marilyn and Sherry co-authored the inspiring book Cancer & the Art of Healing (2006) that poignantly illustrates the power of creativity in our day-to-day lives. It is an uplifting gift that is sure to inspire and connect individuals to their inner place where creativity and healing dwell. The book is a gift of beautiful images, insights and stories told through the vices of those who have experience cancer. It’s a reminder of the power of art and creative expression in our lives.