Cristie Kerr Fights Breast Cancer One Birdie at a Time
BY CHRISTINA COOK
AS GOLF’S CRISTIE KERR watched her mother, Linda, fight breast cancer, she knew she had to stand up and raise money to fight the disease. This year, her Cristie Star Collection with renowned jewelry house Kwiat gives 10 percent of all proceeds to her Birdies for Breast Cancer, which has raised more than $1.2 million since she founded it in 2004. The collection, inspired by Kwiat’s Signature Platinum Star Collection, includes a pair of delicate diamond-drop earrings and a pendant of the same design, in two different sizes. A devoted advocate for the cause, Kerr also donates $50 for every birdie and $100 for every eagle she makes on tour.
HOW MUCH MONEY DID BIRDIES FOR BREAST CANCER RAISE THIS YEAR?
About $250,000, from events, donations and the profits from the Kwiat Cristie Star Collection.
HOW’S YOUR MOM?
My mom is doing well! I will present a special gift to her this year, celebrating her five years in remission.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM HER?
My mother taught me to never give up. When I was very young, I sort of gave in at the end of a tournament I was losing. I told her I didn’t like that feeling. She sat with me and had me draw up a letter to myself, pledging that I would never quit again, no matter what the circumstances—I still have that letter. It was her will and determination that helped her overcome cancer, and it inspires me every day.
SHE MUST BE TOUCHED BY ALL THAT YOU’VE DONE.
I think my mom is very proud of me and of all the things we have accomplished together, especially off the course. She was at the opening of the Cristie Kerr Women’s Health Center this year, and we all had a good long cry.
HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL TO WEAR THE JEWELRY?
It feels great to have people recognize something I wear for its beauty, but the really special feeling comes when I tell them about the significance of the line. When people tell me stories about their personal experiences with the disease, it can be very emotional.
IS THE JEWELRY MEANT FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS?
I wear it every day—even during competitions. I wear the pieces to honor, respect and recognize the people and their families who have been affected by the disease.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE DESIGN?
I helped design the line with the Kwiat family. It was designed to be a symbol of the power of awareness, a beautiful “badge of courage,” so to speak. I wear it to honor what my mother has been through and to remind me of all the work we still have ahead of us. The Kwiat Cristie Star Collection is made with rose gold and pink sapphires to represent breast cancer awareness, and the white diamonds are Kwiat’s signature in the jewelry industry— and why not diamonds!
The collection is available at Kwiat, The Shoppes at The Palazzo; kwiat.com.
PHOTOGRAPH BY WIREIMAGE.COM (KERR)
We go behind the scenes with our cover star.