United by knot and bow
At the age of 30, Jimmy Bruni, a born-and-raised Hillsborough native, thought he was being responsible when he sought a life insurance policy for himself and his wife.
“We just had a child and we wanted to take care of things just in case,” Bruni said. After submitting blood work, Bruni got a call from the insurance carrier that it would be in his best interest to check with his physician, as some of his lab results were abnormal. “It’s called IGA-nephropathy, basically the body thinks there is a problem in the kidney and it elevates the white blood cells to help the kidney, thus, it actually harms the kidney,” Bruni said.
He lived with the disease for 10 years before he arrived at the point of needing a transplant. Enter Jimmy’s sister, Nina Sayre, also of Hillsborough.
“She was a perfect match,” Bruni said of his sister. “I don’t really consider myself a hero,” Sayre said, giggling.
With his sister as a willing donor and a match, Bruni, underwent transplant at UNC nearly two years ago. “Everything is great,” Bruni said of his health today. He eventually returned to work as a veterinary technician and his sister resumed her work as an accountant. However, it was during their recovery periods together, bound by a bond through transplant and a bond of boredom, that they each began toying with the idea of crafting and eventually finding a shared interest in making things with their hands and creative eye.
“Having a daughter, I wanted to make bows and that led me to self-learning how to tie bows and eventually Inspired Creations by Nina began as an interest-turned-hobby-turned-business,” Sayre said.
“I had always tied knots either through Scouts or other interest so I began experimenting with different ideas and learned to make bracelets, necklaces, dog leashes, collars, anything that can be tied by a knot, and that became a hobby that happens to be a interest that I really love and one that people enjoy, too,” Bruni said. His business, affectionately titled Knot Worthy Designs, is one that allows Bruni to express himself both in his craft and his sense of the world of transplant.
“I tell people to wish me good luck but to pray for those that are at the end of life and looking for a transplant. I sometimes feel I am not worthy of this second lease on life and used that to play on words for me creating these bracelets and knot-works,” Bruni said.
Linked by blood and eventually by an organ, the brother and sister duo, happened into their respective chapters of life as a result of the gift of life, which allowed the gift of passion to unwrap before them.
“I just create beautiful and unique bows that express my creative side,” Sayre said. Though these two downplay the roles each plays in the other’s life, there will forever exist the bond of love and the communion of using gifted talents to create for others. “We were both inspired by each other,” Bruni said.
ABOUT CREATIONS BY NINA, KNOT WORTHY DESIGN
Contact Nina through Facebook at Inspired Creations by Nina or inspiredcreationsbynina@gmail.
Contact Jimmy through facebook at Knot Worthy Design or firstname.lastname@example.org
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