Palas Jewellery and the Pancare Foundation are raising funds for Pancreatic Cancer awareness and research. We are selling three special charms chosen by and close to the heart of Pancare Ambassador and Australian Survivor Season 2 Alumni, Henry Nicholson. Just before his Mum, Jenny, passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2017, she gave Henry her favourite Palas charm and chain, and this was where his connection to Palas and Pancare began. When on Survivor, Henry’s sisters, Ash and Kate, sent him a Palas ‘Angel Wing’ charm to remind him of their angel Mum looking down on him and to keep following his dream to continue on Survivor. This ‘Angel Wing’ charm, alongside the ‘Strong, Beautiful and Brave’ charm and the ‘I Love You, Mum’ charm, will be available as a part of this special collaboration. 50% of proceeds from the sales will go straight to Pancare. Henry believes that ‘Pancare is such a small, but immensely important, organisation and I know that together with Palas, we can really make a difference.’
These 3 charms and the 80cm sterling silver box chain are available from Thursday 5th April until Mother’s Day, Sunday 13 May with 50% of proceeds from each design going to the Pancare Foundation... let’s help make a difference! x
5 MINUTES WITH HENRY
Country of origin… Australia. Currently living… Adelaide. Friends describe me as… Loyal, caring, unique, different and (probably) charismatic. Guilty pleasure… Listening to boy bands, old and new… if that even is a ‘guilty pleasure’. Dreaming of… Making an impact on this world and making it better in one way or another. This Pancare x Palas collaboration project is, to me, a little step in that direction. Finding inspiration in… Other than my Mum, the smallest things can inspire me: someone smiling at you as you walk down the street or doing small things that make someone’s day, those things inspire me greatly. Fate or hard work… A bit of both: things definitely happen for a reason, but you’ve got to work to make them happen.
Are you an early bird or night owl?
Early bird, I’d say.
What are the three things you can’t live without?
My family - especially my sisters and niece, Frankie; music, especially my record player; and my hammock.
Whose style do you admire most and why?
I don’t really follow anyone’s style, I just wear whatever suits or looks good on me. From jewellery which is traditionally worn by women (like Palas), to double denim or hippy pants, my wardrobe’s an eclectic mix of everything!
What would be your favourite inspirational quote?
My Mum used to say that ‘Everyone has magic inside of them, it’s up to us to find it, encourage it and help them flaunt it.’ And I love it. Rather than looking at people and seeing all of their flaws or unflattering traits, she would make sure she’d look past those and encourage us to flaunt our good qualities.
Why did you choose to go on Survivor?
Going on Survivor has been a dream of mine since I was a young boy, but I never went on to be on TV. I loved the mind games and the backstabbing (which you can’t really do in real life), as well as the challenge of pushing your body’s limits in terms of having no food or shelter.
What was the hardest element of Survivor for you?
Not eating for three days was tough, but the sleep deprivation was possibly worse. It’s virtually impossible to sleep! One night, it was raining and rather than lying where I was getting dripped on all night, I just got up, stood under a tree and jogged on the spot for 12 hours. It was the worst, but I loved it.
What do you do in your downtime?
I love putting on records, whether it’s old or new music. My taste ranges from Gang of Youths, to Don McLean, Elton John and Fleetwood Mac. I’d say I probably listen to music for six hours a day, it can just change your mood, it’s the best.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’ve recently started my Masters in Education (Primary School), so hopefully in five years I’ll be teaching in some sense. One of the reasons Pancare were so excited to have me as an ambassador was because of the story between son and mother. Over the next five years, I’d love to continue sharing my story and helping others who may be in similar situations.
Photo credit: @henryschnics
Who or what inspires you?
My Mum is, and always will be, my biggest inspiration. Other than that, anyone can inspire me, especially genuinely good people.
Your Mum, Jenny, passed away just before you appeared on Survivor, did this give you an extra push to survive on the show?
When my Mum was diagnosed back in 2015 with inoperable pancreatic cancer, I put my life on hold to take it upon myself to fight this alongside her and my family. While being on Survivor six weeks after Mum passed was tough, emotionally and physically, it was nothing compared to what my Mum and family had been through over the last three years.
You have two sisters and a new niece, how has the arrival of Frankie changed your life?
Frankie was born on 20 January and everyone was saying it had to be a girl after Mum passed, and it was! Her middle name is Jennifer Jane, after both grandmothers. It’s amazing, it really is the full circle of life after the craziest year we could’ve ever imagined!=
Your sisters sent you a Palas charm while you were on Australian Survivor, why did they choose this and how much did it mean to you to receive it?
On Survivor, my sisters sent me an angel wing charm and it reminded me when we went as the entire family and bought Palas charms when Mum was in palliative care.
Mum always had Palas charms, and just before she passed she gave me her favourite charm and chain because she knew how much I loved them. It was an amazing bonding moment during the worst time of your life.
How would you describe your family? What makes you most proud of your tribe?
Being raised by women is probably one of the reasons I’m still single! I just can’t seem to find a woman as special as the ones I’ve spent my entire life around. There’s so much heart in our family, we’d do anything for one another and that’s shown over the last three years. I’m unbelievably proud of my tribe: I’ve not introduced many girls to my family purely because they are my biggest asset and I’m so protective of them.
What’s the one piece of advice your Mum gave you that you’ll never forget?
To bring the flair and individuality I have inside of me, even if it’s wrong. Even if she knew it was wrong, she’d say ‘that’s wrong,’ but she’d still encourage me to be who I am and understand that everyone is different. Some people go their whole lives not knowing who they are or being comfortable in their own skin, but thanks to Mum I’ve found that, and it’s so powerful.
Tell us about your Mum’s experience with pancreatic cancer and how that impacted you.
It began with a pain in her stomach, which she put off a little bit as Mums tend to do, until she finally went to see a doctor. The problem with pancreatic cancer is it’s so hard to detect and has the worst survival rate in Australia, around 7%. From her diagnosis, I put my life on hold and went to every appointment, we even changed her diet – I was even going down to the markets and getting wheatgrass and forcing her to drink it. The worst thing was watching everything change, from her body to her personality.
A week before my sister’s wedding, she ended up back in hospital. She told the doctors that she was going to the wedding, and the night before she came home. The next morning, I remember being in the house with all the bridal activity and wondering where Mum was. She was in her bed in a really bad state, so we had to get the paramedics in to take her back to hospital. We did the wedding while she was in hospital, which was incredibly tough. The next day she told us she’d gotten her third cancer and had to go into palliative care; she passed away within the next five days, it was extremely quick.
When she passed away, it was my shift in the room and I was actually watching American Survivor, I looked over and thought, ‘it’s time, she’s been through hell and back.’ After three years of doing everything I could to make her happy and healthy, just to get her through one more day, I just knew she’d been through enough.
Tell us why you work with Pancare and why it’s so close to your heart.
When I got back from Survivor, I approached them about representing my Mum at their Ladies’ Lunch, which happened to fall on Mum’s birthday. They said yes, heard my story and it just snowballed from there.
I had the best 27 years of my life with Mum, and every opportunity I’ve gotten has been so amazing, I want to help other people have a better life. Pancare is such a small, but immensely important, organisation and I know I can make a difference. You see these other cancers go from such a low survival rate to a far higher one, and it’s clear that what we need is more awareness so people get diagnosed earlier and more funding goes into research.
What kind of ambassador do you see yourself being?
Pancreatic cancer generally affects older people, so there’s not a lot of awareness for the other people it affects - that’s the kind of ambassador I’d like to be. For example, Frankie won’t ever meet her grandma; people like me, the younger generation, have to step up and take care of their parents or miss out on things because their parents aren’t here. I want to bring this younger revolution to such an old disease.
MY PALAS X PANCARE COLLECTION
Can you tell us a bit about your personal Palas collection? Explain the significance of your piece/s.
Strong, beautiful and brave charm is the charm my Mum gave me when she was in palliative care, along with her chain. It’s now something I wear around my neck and hold close to my heart every day. The words truly describe the woman she was throughout her life.
The angel wing charm means a lot to me, it was the charm that my sisters picked out to be sent to me when I was on Australian Survivor. Only weeks after Mum’s passing I went on this crazy adventure of being isolated from my family, so to get given this charm on day 25 of Australian Survivor reminded me of the angel that is now looking over me, and the family who are always by my side.
My beautiful mum charm... this one’s pretty simple, I chose this because I love my Mum and always will.
ONE LAST THING...
Who would you be charmed to meet, and why?
Kevin Parker from Tame Impala, because I love their music… or Nelson Mandela!