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Earlier this year the Susan G. Komen Foundation shut down its Arizona operations, leaving a huge gap in breast cancer awareness. A local organization has been there to help keep this important cause in focus.
Don’t Be a Chump! Check for a Lump! was founded by Holly Rose after her own experience battling breast cancer. Founded eight years ago, the cause has grown from one that offered simple reminders to perform breast self-exams to providing free mammograms and treatment. The organization has provided over 40,000 educational magazines yearly and allocated over 1,000 free wigs to women battling breast cancer.
One component of this rapid growth is the help they’ve received from corporate citizens. Schumacher European Limited has donated $100 for every car sold during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Kendra Scott donated precious jewelry items.
Don’t Be a Chump! Check For a Lump! is growing its programs and events to reach those in need. This past weekend, they launched their first Pink Out5k! walk/run, providing the pink walk experience, having lost the annual Komen walk. The Wig Out Gala, aligns with its core sentiments and its name, which leverages a cute turn of phrase to support a serious subject. Gala attendees wear outlandish wigs and are treated to a night of dinner, drinks and entertainment while connecting with breast cancer advocates.
The consistency of this organization has led it to some opportunities for publicity as well. Rose was called by Oprah’s staff during her own breast cancer treatments and was able to share how she was prompted to discover her own breast cancer due to a Facebook post. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg flew Rose out to learn about her story and the power that the Facebook platform had in her journey. This was filmed for MTV’s Diary of Facebook.
Its exposure has also been helped by its five-year relationship with Phoenix Fashion Week. Now the official charity partner for the Southwest’s most notable runway event, the first evening is dedicated to showcasing the ladies who have battled and defeated breast cancer. These survivors have been, “physically and emotionally beaten down during treatment,” said Rose. Many have lost their breasts, their hair and the feeling of being feminine. “To provide these women the girly experience of being dressed in a beautiful gown, pampered with a stylist doing their hair and having their make-up applied professionally is priceless! It provides them a moment to truly celebrate surviving and feeling like a woman again.”
These courageous ladies strut down the runway wearing fashions designed by emerging talent on opening night of Phoenix Fashion Week. The partnership has elevated both organizations and provided for a launching pad for the Fashionably Pink Show that kicks off Fashion Week on October 5th.
For now Don’t Be a Chump! Check for a Lump! will remain focused on filling Komen’s large shoes. But as the baton has naturally been passed to a new local leader there is an opportunity to celebrate, support and sync up with this cause and its crusade to help women better understand and treat this deadly disease.
For more: www.checkforalump.org