Eight years ago, Emily Lyons lost her beloved sister, Julia Lyons, to Cystic Fibrosis. Heartbroken that Julia’s time to light up the world with her unparalleled spirit was cut short, Emily vowed to keep her sisters’ spirit alive. So, she launched a fashionable watch brand called JWLS in 2017. The proceeds from every JWLS watch sold go to The Julia Lyons Foundation, also set up by Emily, which supports the Cystic Fibrosis community.
Cystic Fibrosis is a fatal disease that impacted 4300 Canadians in 2017. People who have Cystic Fibrosis have a mucus that is too thick for their body, which impacts many of their key organs and body functions. Cystic Fibrosis impacts lungs the most, causing difficult breathing and resulting in lung transplants. It also impacts patients’ digestive systems, causing malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. These are just some of the many hardships someone with Cystic Fibrosis encounters on a daily basis.
There is currently no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, meaning the only treatment is symptom management. Intensive treatments often make relocation necessary for some families to be closer to their treatment options, with 20.1% of Cystic Fibrosis patients travelling more than 250km to receive care in 2016. The average person with Cystic Fibrosis in Canada only lives to about 52 years old.
Julia Lyons died in 2011 at the age of 27 after battling with Cystic Fibrosis most of her life and receiving two double lung transplants. Throughout it all, Emily remembers that Julia fought hard, never losing her mischievous humor, fierce intelligence, kindness and empathy through the daily challenges she faced from Cystic Fibrosis. Despite Julia’s bright spirit, her health journey was an extremely intense experience for both Julia and her family. Emily not only experienced the effects of Cystic Fibrosis firsthand, but also garnered an empathy for it that only someone so close to the disease can understand. She also quickly understood the value of providing support for families dealing with Cystic Fibrosis.
The Julia Lyons Foundation runs various programs for Cystic Fibrosis patients and their loved ones. Understanding that Cystic Fibrosis is not only a physically tasking disease but also an extremely mentally tasking one is why The Julia Lyons Foundation runs mental health programs too. During Cystic Fibrosis month in May, the foundation plans to launch new products and initiatives in support of the Cystic Fibrosis community.
JWLS watches are for both men and women and range in price from about $50 to 100. In the beginning, Emily purchased and covered the cost of the watches herself, aiming to offer as much as possible to the Cystic Fibrosis community. The brand is lovingly named JWLS after Julia’s nickname, Jewels.
Emily Lyons herself is a true inspiration, running both The Julia Lyons Foundation and JWLS which she founded at a young age from a place of true love for her sister and empathy for others. You can learn more about Cystic Fibrosis and keep up with what Emily is doing at https://www.julialyonsfoundation.com/ and https://www.jwlsofficial.com/.