Fear is a 4-Letter Word began as a personal journey for its founder, Kelly Keigwin. As a person who grew up being shamed for being overweight, she spent most of her life wishing she were someone else. She dreamed of adventures and romance, like she saw in the movies and on television. She would have settled for being able to buy designer jeans off of the rack in the 70’s and 80’s, during her prime middle school and high school years. She would always be different, despite her wishes to fit in and be like everyone else. Much later in life, she would realize that different was okay. Different is something to be celebrated.
Many missed opportunities and years later, Kelly decided to try to change things in her life. After leaving an abusive relationship of 14 years, she finally had the opportunity to turn things around and work on her personal issues. She began showing her artwork and made new friends who believed in her. This led to her meeting the love of her life, Sam, the person who would love her just as she is. The two formed a partnership and have gone on to create artwork, teach, and built a life together. They married in 2012, when marriage quality became legal in the state of Washington.
The couple were challenged in 2014 when Kelly was diagnosed with cancer. Even though she began the concept four years earlier as a published zine and blog about self-discovery and acceptance, she has used Fear is a 4-Letter Word to write about the experience and to share it with anyone who wanted to follow along with her journey. Cancer has opened new doors and inspired Kelly to push herself further with long overdue self-acceptance of the body she has long resented. Some of the adventures are documented here on this blog.
During her treatment, Kelly had friends who would accompany her to chemotherapy appointments and would choose a theme for dressing up, to make things fun. Her friend Anna designed super hero costumes for them to wear one week. Many at the oncology office loved it. This inspired Kelly to come up with the idea of making super hero capes for kids in hospitals, to give them the same feeling she’d had that day. Once she shared her idea, her friends quickly offered to help make this dream a reality. As someone coming out of chemotherapy and radiation, with all signs pointing to her beating cancer, this is a project meant to bring happiness and support into the lives of children spending their lives in hospitals. It’s also bringing joy into the lives of the adults working on and contributing to the project.
Thank you for finding this blog and for supporting this project! It really is about appreciating the little things and finding happiness in small moments, gestures, and interactions. ❤