Pink Pioneering Then & Now


Hey survivor fans! (and we don’t mean the TV show!)

We hope you had a fabulous 4th and are using enough SPF before hitting the beach! We know, we know, this isn’t a skin cancer blog BUT we’d be remiss if we didn’t advise you to take caution in the sun…but getting back to breast cancer awareness…

Earlier this month we celebrated our first post and met some lovely ladies from our calendar. BTW if you would like to purchase your own click back to our homepage for more information. It may be late in the year but not only will you get to SEE all the amazing ladies we gush about over here – you’ll support breast cancer research – a common goal we ALL share. Half of the proceeds from the calendars go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Let’s chat about BCRF for a moment. Just like here at Eye of The Survivor, BCRF is committed to the prevention and cure of breast cancer. BRCF also aids in funding for research internationally including tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, metastasis and survivorship, having raised more than half a billion dollars since its founding in 1993. Not too shabby for just two decades!!

But another reason we just love the BCRF is the story of its beginning and the fierce woman at its helm, Evelyn Lauder – who we believe is an absolute pioneer for breast cancer research!

Like our other survivors, Evelyn had a personal connection with the disease being diagnosed with early- stage breast cancer in 1988.

But back then options were limited. Evelyn could have sat idly but instead jumped into action helping to create a cutting edge breast and diagnostic center in NYC at the renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 1989, where she was also a board member. Today the facility is still standing and known as the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center.

In another history-making move that year, she helped created the undoubtedly most recognizable breast cancer symbol there is -- the pink ribbon! Together with Alexandra Penney (then editor of SELF magazine) the pair took the ribbon on the road, launching an inaugural Breast Cancer Awareness campaign in tandem with The Estée Lauder Companies, which her husband Leonard headed and still serves as Chairman emeritus today. The campaign made waves for the cause bringing attention when there was previously none. Ribbons were distributed along with self-exam how-to cards at Estée Lauder counters nationally and internationally.

And she didn’t stop there. Evelyn along with her husband, Leonard, and friend Dr. Larry Norton joined forces to establish the BRCF just a few years later to continue spreading awareness and fundraise for the cause.

Evelyn passed away in 2011 but the BCFR continues to carry out her vision with the same passion and dedication. Clearly Evelyn had the eye of the survivor and is definitely a fellow fierce female we admire and adore. We encourage you all to check out BCRF as a resource for all things breast cancer and for info on local events and the like…they’re at www.bcrfcure.org.

Ok, getting back to the present, and yet another FIERCE female.... let's meet our lady of honor for July.

Jersey City’s own Edwinta Rhue has been a survivor for seven years, something we applaud and wish her continued success with!

Edwinta was diagnosed at 39 with first stage breast cancer. Now in her forties, she wears her battle as a badge of strength and her survival has sparked a new energy and appreciation for life. Edwinta enjoys travelling the world and just being happy. At her photo shoot she explained, “I believe that you have to live life to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised to you. So live, love and laugh a lot!”

No stranger to her community, Edwinta works as a Community Aide for the Jersey City Public School System. As part of her role, Edwinta arranges events within the community and even advocates for breast cancer by organizing participation in local walks and fundraisers. Some of the most popular nationwide walks that we will detail in future posts include the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides, Avon’s Avon39 and Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure.

Edwinta also loves working with her students and in her own words, “helping them grow into the leaders of tomorrow.”

We are excited to meet women like Edwinta and even more excited to hear her success as a survivor!

We missed Edwinta’s birthday back in January so happy belated and thank you for sharing your story with us.

When we learn about women like Evelyn and Edwinta we can’t help feel empowered and energized.

Whether on a large scale like Evelyn and the BCRF or on a closer to home scale with Edwinta and her immediate circle and community – these women exude strength and educate others as part of their journey.

We strive to do the same thing here through such amazing women and their stories!

Thank you for stopping by and stay tuned for next month when we break down a recent study that could mean new arsenal in the fight against breast cancer -- and of course meet our calendar girl for August.

Until then, keep your Eye on Strength!!

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Eye of the Survivor® 2020

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