Many find difficulty knowing the right thing to say when someone they know is diagnosed with an serious illness. Emily McDowell, a Los Angeles-based greeting card writer and designer, is changing that.

McDowell’s new line of empathy cards are so popular that she’s had to bring on 10 new employees to try to keep up with demand.

McDowell has hit a nerve with people who are tired of platitudes and false cheer — because her cards offer neither. Instead, they are funny, honest and many times poke fun at the platitudes people so often reach for when they are scared.

“Let me be the first to punch the next person who tells you that everything happens for a reason,” reads one. It’s her best seller.

Another says: “One more chemo down, let’s celebrate with whatever doesn’t taste disgusting.”

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