I believe that everyone has a purpose, and sometimes it isn't obvious to us, in fact, many people spend their entire lives questioning what that is and searching for the answer. Sometimes there is one defining moment that forces one to look at their life and realize that every situation and experience was building blocks leading up to that answer. That's exactly what happened to me. The events leading up to my defining moment were not the greatest, and by January of 2013 I found myself begging God for a sign of my purpose... and ultimately He did just that.
Before I explain more, let me first tell you a little about Harold. I met Harold in 1999 when I along my boyfriend at the time (now my husband) went to a friends girlfriends' house in Bismarck, MO. Harold was her father. I had an instant fascination and connection with Harold. He was quirky, witty, and incredibly intelligent. It seemed that he always had a simple solution for a complex problem. Our friend eventually married this girlfriend which provided more access to Harold by way of birthday get togethers, etc. ~ and I certainly took every opportunity to spend that time with him.
On October 16, 2010 Harold and his wife Sandy were hit by a drunk driver while on a motorcycle ride just outside of Farmington, MO. Cell service was non-existent except for the single call to 911. While at the hospital Harold said the ER physician held up an x-ray and said, “here is a broken back, and here is a tumor.” It was only because of this accident Harold learned he had cancer, Multiple Myeloma to be more exact.
Fast forward to 2013. Out of the blue, I received a call from Harold. He asked if I would be available to meet for lunch one day to discuss an idea. I was certainly intrigued by this and agreed to meet the next day. Keep in mind, I knew of his accident three years prior, well, because I was with his daughter and son-in-law when they received the call.
I met up with Harold, hugged his neck, and keenly listened to every word that he had to say. He explained his three year struggle with cancer and how chemotherapy had taken a toll on his quality of life. He mentioned how he constantly prayed for relief from the nausea and lethargy and spent most days bedridden due to the side effects of the chemo. Harold continued, “one day during prayer God said – you need to pay attention because I'm about to show you something.” Around this same time, Harold and his wife had made the decision to look for a vehicle that was more accommodating to his back injury. A friend of theirs was looking for a different vehicle as well and was interested in Harold's, but their Volkswagen was not an even trade. This friend was a beekeeper, which was something Harold was always fascinated by, so the friend offered to trade vehicles plus some bee hives as payment.
Soon after receiving these hives Harold said he kept hearing the word “injection”... but had no clue why. Was God telling him that he was supposed to inject himself with something? Was his Oncologist going to prescribe a new drug? What on earth could this mean? One day while out working the hives he was stung, and by the time he had made it back up to the house he was feeling better. Much better. “I felt so well I ate everything in the house!” He then made the connection... maybe “injection” meant the injection of the bee sting? Was this the remedy he had been praying for? He began stinging himself daily, on purpose! He felt so well that he stopped taking his prescribed nausea medication and was living a very active life again. These bee stings were his lifeline, so the engineer in him created “contraptions” (his word) to keep bees in the house during winter. Yes, you read that correctly. (Honeybees can't survive in cold climates and he needed “treatment” year around.)
He and Sandy loved to travel before the accident and chemotherapy, and wanted to start doing that again... but how exactly does one travel with bees? He wondered if it was possible to receive the benefits of the bee sting without the pain and inconvenience of an actual sting, without climate requirements, and without killing the bee in the process. Then he thought of me.
I've always been a chemistry and science nerd. I thought I wanted to be a teacher until I stumbled across pharmaceutical compounding. I was instantly hooked. I was especially passionate about hospice compounding and transdermal delivery options for patients who no longer had the ability to swallow medications. It was rewarding to offer relief to patients who had limited options, and the process of formulating these medications was beyond fascinating to me. I had worked in the pharmaceutical industry for thirteen years prior to receiving Harold's phone call requesting a lunch meeting. Harold knew of my compounding profession, but didn't know that I had spent years studying and completely fascinated by transdermal delivery systems. But God did. Unknowing to me, He had been building my situations and experiences in life to prepare me for the opportunity to help Harold, and hopefully countless others.
I began researching Harold's idea of an all natural, bee venom cream in 2013. Harold quickly found a mechanism to extract the venom from the honeybees without causing injury to the bee. During this time and by happy accident, we found that our tested formulations helped reduce inflammation and some types of pain, along with many other ailments. Harold used these formulations on his outer ankle to reduce the nausea from his chemotherapy, and was the only patient remaining on a chemotherapy clinical trial... all others had dropped out because of the horrible nausea side effect of the drug. I crafted a base that was solid at room temperature but would dissolve at skin temperature thereby allowing the venom to be absorbed quickly and through multiple layers of the skin.
By October of 2014 we knew we had something incredibly unique and profoundly effective, so we filed for patent protection. In 2015, we released a small batch of “Bee Well” to test the market and to garner feedback from the community. We took everything we had learned over the last three years and made a few adjustments, and in October of 2016 – Harold's Famous Bee Cream was released.
No bees are being harmed, or stored inside the house, Harold feels great and is living a wonderful life, he and Sandy travel again, and I found my purpose.
This may look like a simple jar of cream -- but I promise you it is much more than that. It is experiences, determination, the gift of nature, and God's love wrapped up in a box. It's the promise that He's always listening and creating a path for you - even if it's a little unconventional.
Co-Founder, Harold's Famous
"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."
(Harold's Famous products are not medicines or drugs and have not been approved by the FDA. Our products are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.)
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