American Cancer Society celebrates breast cancer
By Nikki Velarde
The Belton Journal
Bras and purses, bras, and pearls, brunch and – you guessed it – more bras. Last Thursday the Expo Center held the 2nd Annual American Cancer Society Bra Brunch “Purses and Pearls.”
The room was a sea of pink as the brunch kicked off. Women off all ages mingled and laughed as they ate lunch and enjoyed champagne. They were all there to “celebrate survivorship and uplift anyone who’s going through cancer ”and to show support to the American Cancer Society (ACS) said Cherise Myatt, a member of the Bra Brunch Committee.
The guest speaker at the event, Jim Richardson spoke to the audience about breast cancer in men. In 2013 Richardson had a tumor removed, underwent chemotherapy, had a full mastectomy, and is now in recovery. He shared with the audience his story and his struggle as well as raising awareness of breast cancer in men.
Richardson explained that last year 2,000 men began treatment for breast cancer and 400 men died from the cancer. More men die from breast cancer than women because “men don’t really know the symptoms and men are too bull-headed to take action once they recognize the symptoms”.
He spoke about how he discovered something was wrong, his experience with the tests and doctors appointments, chemotherapy, his struggle and apprehension and “flood of overwhelming despair”. Throughout his story he showed great strength by his humorous accounts of getting a mammogram and ideas for a tattooed nipple. He couldn’t have done it alone; friends and family showed extreme support and love. “I had never in my life received unexpected kindness like that. Little did I know that it would happen over and over again”. He urged all the women to “help us men out. Help us have good sense because you could be the difference”.
Following Richardson’s story and uplifting speech, the audience prepared to be thoroughly entertained by the upcoming performance. Several men took turns strutting down the catwalk showing off elaborately decorated bras donated to the event. The bras were then auctioned off to raise money for ACS and all the things they do.
Breast cancer is a “serious topic but sometimes you have to do something a little outside of the box to get people’s attention” Myatt commented. The show definitely got everyone’s attention. Some of the bras being modeled included “Boo-Bees”, “Precious Mammarys”, “Mardi Bra”, “Cuffed and Stuffed”, and “These Puppies Can Cause a Cat Fight”.
Following the fashion show, each bra was auctioned off, effectively raising thousands of dollars for ACS. The bra with the highest bid was the “Jeweled Peacock” worn in honor of Penny Fogle and all those who are currently fighting breast cancer. It was auctioned off at $600.
All the money raised will go to ACS to helping with the research of finding breast cancers’ cures and causes, as well as helping patients and survivors. Thanks to all the grants and donations provided to research, ACS and progressed by decreasing the death rate down 34% since 1989. They continue to have an average decline of 1.9% each year, which means approximately 203,400 more lives are saved from breast cancer.
For more information on the statistics of breast cancer, the symptoms, and the ways you can help, please visit cancer.org/fightbreastcancer