Her company, StayWell Copper, uses all-natural and sustainable products to help prevent people from getting sick.
So many people who endure a near-death experience will tell you that their brush with death gives them a new clarity on the vision they have for their future selves. Just imagine what it would be like to be written off by doctors after getting MRSA while in the hospital for an unrelated event and be on your death bed in the hospital, only to pull through against all the odds and come out the other side stronger and with a renewed sense of purpose in life.
Well, that is precisely what happened to Marcia Reece.
Marcia was no newcomer to entrepreneurialism. Do you remember Sidewalk Chalk, the colorful and popular outdoor toy for generations of children now? You know, the stuff that comes in those buckets. Well, Marcia invented it.
So after she healed from MRSA, Marcia’s new vision set her on a new entrepreneurial journey inspired to invent germ-stopping products that help protect people from getting sick and avoid the suffering that she experienced while sick in the hospital with MRSA. I was excited to catch up with this inspiring serial entrepreneur recently and ask her a few questions.
1) Tell us about your journey and battle for your life with MRSA.
I became obsessed with finding a solution for uncontrollable germs a while back. In 2001, I contracted a deadly MRSA staph infection in my lower spine after a short stay in a Chicago hospital. MRSA is kind of like the Navy Seal version of bacterial infection killing more than 100,000 people every year in the U.S. My infection led to six months of fighting for my life, truly the fight of my life. From March through October 2001, I was hospitalized three times, had six surgeries, had to learn to walk again, but finally won the battle at the end of October.
2) How did this experience inspire you to co-found StayWell Copper?
Having endured this horrific hospital-acquired (HAI) infection, I became very keenly aware of the daily risks of re-infection just while making my daily living. It is alarming folks just like you and me who go into a hospital for care walk out with an infection they got in the hospital. It became my mission to do everything I could to keep my loved ones safe and healthy. I spent four years researching both Eastern and Western science to find ways to kill bacteria and rediscovered the profound power of copper in killing bacteria.
In 2016, I began working with a fellow product developer, Diana French, to bring practical, low-cost, consumer-friendly antimicrobial copper products to market, which fight daily exposure to bacteria, germs, and microbes that can actually cause death.
We have formed StayWell Products, Inc., an upstart products provider in the germ-abatement market, and released our first seven products made from EPA-registered antimicrobial copper.
3) Tell us how this works in our everyday lives. How can your products stop germs from spreading and keep us healthier?
We tackled the most-used, germiest thing we touch, on average, 2,617 per day and created the Copper Phone Patch which was what I had given you an early prototype of. The Copper Phone Patch never needs to be replaced and continues to kill as long as it is in place. My co-founder was the inspiration behind our Copper Phone Patch:
“It had been seven years of in and out of the hospital for my husband. He had colon and bladder cancer and was fighting for his life. I decided to take a break and fill my heart with joy, by going by the new baby floor. I walked by the NICU unit for critical care for babies. There was a photo of a cell phone in the lobby stating that your cellphone has 25,000 germs per square inch, and to please wipe it off. That was the start of my copper journey. I wanted something on the phone that would continuously clean naturally. After several years of research and design, I finally have StayWell Copper products to help everyone fight germs.” Diana French, StayWell Copper Co-Founder.
Copper Patch™ stops Bacteria and Germs Dead using NO chemicals. It’s All Natural, Antimicrobial, and made from 100% American Copper. Copper Patch is a proven treatment to kill germs*, stop the common cold, and give you a fighting chance to stay healthy.
Researchers at labs and universities worldwide all agree — copper is “antimicrobial.” It kills microbes, such as viruses and bacteria, just by touch. Microbe cells have an internal electric charge which copper’s high conductance short-circuits, which destroys the cell in seconds.
Our next product was the versatile Copper Stopper. This product has been in proof-of-concept testing for three years now. It prevents the user from catching the common cold, so it’s perfect for anyone flying and wanting to exit the airplane as healthy as they entered it.
These copper products are the real deal. Their efficacy against various bacteria, including the MRSA “SuperBug,” is impressive. Copper’s killing power lasts forever, so it’s a one purchase solution. You won’t need to keep spending money on hand sanitizers over and over. Besides, hand sanitizer is harmful to our skin, and the plastic bottles used in the small bottles have a negative impact on the environment!
4) Your products have the potential for such a massive global impact. Can you tell us about your plans in Africa?
We hear the call loud and clear to be socially responsible and are honored to serve. To that end, we employ Veterans to assemble our products.
We are most excited to report that we have donated our renowned, all-natural StayWell Copper Germ Stopper Phone Patches to a village in Africa. The recipients were so very grateful, and we were too! Although their village is still quite underdeveloped and lacks adequate healthcare, they all still owned cell phones.
It is an honor to help them stay well, healthy, and kill germs with our 100% antimicrobial copper as they use their phones.
The recent case of a MRSA outbreak at the University of Pittsburg Children’s Hospital where a whopping 12 cases (6 babies and 6 staff) of a drug-resistant staph infection in its neonatal unit reminds us that the need is greater than ever for antimicrobial products. Marcia and Diana are hard at work making antimicrobial products available not only in medical offices but they are getting them into the hands of the general public.