…The story of an unexpected life… Take the train into the station. Step on the platform. Walk to Broadway and open the curtain into the backstage world of New York City—Visit Times Square, 7th Avenue, and Hell's Kitchen. Meet famous celebrities from the worlds of sports, entertainment, and fashion all the while raising money to wipe out Leukemia. Join artist and designer Jane Elissa as a single phone call to the Leukemia Society alters her life. While she raises money to battle cancer, Jane unexpectedly finds herself living out childhood fantasies, building her own shop at the crossroads of the world in Times Square, and falling in love. She believes she’s conquered her personal fears until one day "memories of Brooklyn" rush in and heartbreak slams back into her life…. She thought she had become a strong peanut, protective shell in place, but then the twists and turns of fate throw her a curve and leave her feeling like a lollipop once more with nothing to protect her heart from dissolving. This very personal account offers a glimpse behind the scenes into a lifestyle most people only dream about.
…Monday morning, three flights up, sewing machines whirring, scissors cutting, fabric laced across the floor, television humming.
It began with a phone call.
“Leukemia Society.” “Hi, my name is Jane Elissa, and I just glimpsed your promo on Regis and Kathy Lee. I’d like to speak to someone in charge of the Mets’ Wives’ fashion show.”
“Are you calling to buy a ticket?”
“Just a minute, please.”
After what seemed like an interminable amount of time, someone new came on. “Leukemia Society.”
Again, “My name is Jane Elissa—”
A ringing phone in the background. “Hold a minute, please.”
Again, waiting…. Finally, a new woman came on the phone. “How can I help you?”
“I’m calling because I saw your Mets’ Wives’ fashion show advertised—”
“Where did you see it?”
“On Regis and Kathy Lee,” I replied.
“How did you get this number?”
“It flashed across the bottom of the screen.”
“And you’re calling to buy tickets?”
“No.” I was practically shouting now. “I’m a designer. My mother was recently diagnosed with leukemia. I would like to donate a handmade shawl to your Mets’ Wives’ luncheon.”
“Sorry—the designer is bringing all the clothes.”
“Perhaps I could volunteer to help dress the models backstage,” I said.
“Not necessary. The designer is bringing everyone. You can buy a ticket.”
“I don’t want to buy a ticket.”
I sat there stunned. They didn’t want my help? They didn’t ask about my mom’s leukemia? They were not very responsive. Who were these people? I called again.
“I’m calling because I’m also a designer, and I’d like to put on a fashion show of my own.”
Where did that come from?
“I’ll have to have someone call you back. Name and phone number, please. Thank you. Goodbye.” Click.