October marks this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is a sweeping, country-wide campaign that sees breast cancer survivors, socially responsible companies and health experts come together to shine a light on the challenges and misconceptions, the diagnosis and treatment, as well as the resources and support that breast cancer prompts.
While breathtaking medical strides have reduced breast cancer mortality, it remains among the most common – and one of the deadliest – forms of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 250,000 new cases of breast cancer have or would develop this year, mostly affecting women 45 years of age or older.
“We are all aware of breast cancer,” said Michelle Ward, a New Yorker who herself has been diagnosed with breast cancer twice. “Every single person has been affected by breast cancer – whether it is, unfortunately, losing someone that we love, or knowing someone or multiple people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It is in everyone’s life, unfortunately.”
To mark the month – and the grim statistics it reminds of – Haute Beauty has compiled a list of events worth participating in.
BRA Day 2017
BRA Day or Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day is hosted by Aesthetx founder and Haute Beauty expert, Dr. Kamakshi Zeidler and Cancer CAREpoint, a non-profit on whose board she sits. At the event, Dr. Zeidler, alongside Dr. Pamela Munster, Professor of Medicine and the Co-Program Leader for UCSF’s Center for BRCA Research, will share the latest information about the novelties in breast cancer research and treatment technologies. Dr. Zeidler will also talk about the recent advances in breast reconstruction, which fewer than 25 percent of affected women wholly understand.
“I feel very passionate about bucking this trend and educating women about the numerous options available to heal both the physical and emotional scars when they have been given this life-changing diagnosis,” said Dr. Zeidler, board certified plastic surgeon and one of a few women in the Bay Area formally trained in advanced breast reconstruction. “I am excited to host this sixth annual event to bring together the Silicon Valley community and inspire them to help support this incredible cause.”
The event will also include a creative decorated bra contest, which will feature Olympic and World Cup Champion Brandi Chastain as one of the celebrity judges. It will also present heartfelt portraits of breast cancer survivors, taken in a recent shoot that Dr. Zeidler organized.
When: October 12th, from 6-8pm
Where: courtyard of the Hotel Valencia in San Jose, CA
All proceeds from BRA Day 2017 will go to CAREpoint
AVON 39: The Walk to End Breast Cancer
The final, weekend-long event of AVON 39 campaign comprises a 39.3-mile long walk through New York. In its 15th season, the occasion celebrates the philanthropic efforts of participants, who each raise $1,800 to advance breast cancer research, educate the public about the disease, and improve access to screenings and treatment.
Since their inception in 2003, the AVON 39 walks, which transpire in major cities around the country, have raised over $600 million, which fund local breast cancer causes and research organizations.
“One of the things that we do at our events, which is really special and I think differentiates AVON 39 from other events, at our concluding ceremony, we award the novelty checks to our beneficiaries, so we are able to announce the grand dollars that are going to each beneficiaries,” said Jill Surdyka, Communications and Community Engagement at AVON Breast Cancer Crusade. “They are on stage and talk about the things they are going to be doing with the money. So, all the walkers, their families and friends, can see the impact they will be making in their communities across the country.”
In 2016, the New York edition attracted more than 3,100 participants, including breast cancer survivors, who collectively raised $7.6 million.
“I first got involved when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33 back in the end of November 2011, the day after Thanksgiving,” said Ward, the AVON 39 participant from New York. “Once I got my diagnosis, I turned to the Avon walk probably the next month. It was one of the very first things that I did and I knew the walk was going to be the following October. It was not only something that would keep me active, but knowing what I was going to go through, I knew that I would need to have some sort of external deadline and reason to keep active and I knew how important that would be for my treatment and recovery.”
Where: New York
When: October 14th – 15th
For more information on the New York itinerary, visit www.avon39.org
Mirrored Images Boudoir For Breast Cancer Awareness
The hair and makeup professionals at Cotton Rouge & Company, freelance makeup artist, Staci Gibbs and photo studio Mirrored Images are hosting a photography session to celebrate breast cancer survivors and those who are currently battling the disease.
“We want to contribute to the celebration of life and survival of those who are currently fighting or have conquered breast cancer,” said photographer Jenn Hyman, who is the daughter of a breast cancer survivor. “We intend to show off the bravery, strength and courage of women who participate.”
The glam team is to focus on group shots but individual portraits are also to be taken. While they envision to take the photos of at least 20 women during the event, “we will include as many woman as humanly possible,” Hyman said.
Where: Cottom Rouge & Co studio, 250 Mill St, Taylors, SC 29687
When: October 18th
There no fees for participants