When Gwen Rich walked into TheBlaze studios for her January 17 interview, it was against all odds. She should not have been walking at all, much less jetting to Dallas to chat with Dana Loesch on set. Diagnosed with incurable cancer four years ago, Gwen considers each day a gift that she’s determined to share with others. She could easily feel otherwise.
For eight years, Gwen grappled with debilitating neck and back pain, being repeatedly told that she had spinal stenosis. By the time doctors determined it was cancer in 2012, this misdiagnosis left her with few options. The business woman and mother of four heard the words that would change everything: Terminal Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer. There were countless appointments and followups. Once breast cancer cells invade the bones in other parts of the body, there are treatments to relieve symptoms and slow growth, but there is no cure.
One month after her diagnosis, Gwen fell down the stairs and was hospitalized with a broken neck. She turned to her lifelong flair for fashion as a distraction during recovery. "I love to sew and you know, like everybody else, you’re busy, and when life gets in the way, you usually can’t do your hobbies,” she shared. "After my diagnosis… I wanted to leave a legacy.” She crafted her first leather handbags for family and friends that Christmas. She’s been at it ever since.
Her “purses with a purpose” were the beginnings of the Gwen Marie Collection. Many of the bags in the collection are named for cancer survivors, and a portion of the proceeds are donated to the University of Chicago Medicine for research in the fight against breast cancer. Gwen tells Dana, “It’s about connecting and comforting the cancer community. It really is.”
After receiving several requests to create a concealed-carry handbag, Gwen created “The Natasha,” which resonated with Loesch. “I cannot stand to wear a thigh holster,” said Dana, picking up an elegant clutch from the table next to her. “[This is] very discreet but incredibly functional at the same time.” She tells her audience, “It's designed for fashionable women who support the Second Amendment. This is a handbag that’s actually made in America, from a designer that donates a portion of each sale to the fight against breast cancer.”
Watch Gwen’s full interview with Dana below.
This post is brought to you by Gwen Marie Collection, where your purchase of the "Natasha Conceal and Carry" handbag results in a donation to the fight against breast cancer.