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Keep A Breast, Raise Awareness

Emily Dickinson once said, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings a tune without the words and never stops at all.”

The word “cancer” itself can strike fear into the hearts of many. It is malignant and angry. Cancer is daunting, but hope is powerful. Hope plants itself inside of you, keeps you going when you are feeling down, and never quits.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. In fact, every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and every 13 minutes one will die of it. The Keep A Breast Foundation (KAB) was founded in 2005 in order to inspire young people to prevent breast cancer and promote awareness for the cause.

The non-profit started as an art concept that was meant to “capture and communicate the physical and emotional challenges of breast cancer.” The final result of this abstract idea was “a series of customized breast casts” that was part of an exhibition called Keep A Breast. Keep A Breast “featured casts of pro female snowboarders, painted by artists such as Shepard Fairey and Ed Templeton,” that were designed to call attention to the issue of breast cancer. These exhibitions were so successful that many have said they “put breast cancer awareness on the map for a younger generation.”

Shaney Jo Darden, a founder and CCO of The Keep A Breast Foundation, realized quickly that raising awareness of breast cancer among older adults was not enough. According to the Keep A Breast website, “[Darden] soon realized that no one was truly reaching young people with breast cancer education and support. Existing organizations were not operating at the cultural level of teens and 20-somethings. In response, she developed a series of educational programs that attempted to reach youth ‘in their comfort zones.’” This meant creating “a series of unique, interactive teaching efforts such as the Traveling Education Booth and Check Yourself! breast self-check cards.”

The Keep A Breast Foundation website offers a way to raise awareness by educating viewers on breast cancer. The non-profit even created a free app that will reminds users to check themselves each month. As the organization states on its website, “Prevention starts with you! Educate yourself, become your own health advocate, share your story, and volunteer!”

To become involved with The Keep A Breast Foundation, you can donate or shop for merchandise on the website. You can also start a DIY fundraiserpledge to #CheckYourSelfievolunteer, or share your breast cancer story.

No matter how you decide to help raise awareness, remember, “Whether you’ve donated directly, purchased a bracelet, or raised funds, every dollar matters. Thanks to you, we’ll be able to help educate young people about their breast health and provide support to women diagnosed with breast cancer.”

Visit the website to learn more about how you can become involved with the cause.

Featured Image by KOMUnews on Flickr
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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