Thursday September 20, 2012
Raising awareness key to fighting breast cancer
By ELAINE DONG
Raising awareness on breast cancer is key to fighting the disease.
THE vision is a bold and powerful one ... to believe in a world without breast cancer.
Courage is the theme of Estee Lauder Companies’ worldwide Breast Cancer Awareness campaign this year, and they are reaffirming their 20-year commitment to defeating the disease with the slogan, “Courage. Believe in a world without breast cancer. Know we’re here until it’s true.”
“We also want to commemorate all those who have shown courage – whether personally facing breast cancer, bravely standing by a loved one inflicted with the disease or fearlessly spreading the word about breast health.
“I believe my mother would emphasise that the 2012 BCA Campaign empowers us all to be courageous in the face of this terrible disease, persevere in the fight against it – and believe in a future free of it,” said Estée Lauder Companies Executive Chairman William Lauder who dedicates the campaign to his mother, Evelyn whom he calls a courageous pioneer.
In 1992, thousands of women were dying from breast cancer. People were unfamiliar with the disease, and devastated by its fatality. Evelyn was then holding the reins at the cosmetics company, taking over the position previously filled by her mother-in-law Estee Lauder. Having influenced women’s lives through beauty, she wanted to do her part in promoting women’s health.
She started talking to her friend, Alexandra Penney, the editor of SELF magazine, and they came up with the Pink Ribbon, now universally recognised as the worldwide symbol in the fight against breast cancer. She also launched the Breast Awareness Campaign and established The Breast Cancer Research Foundation a year later, in 1993.
Through her initiatives and campaigns, Evelyn has brought much-needed awareness about as well as funds for the prevention and cure of the cancer. From advocating something as simple as self-breast examination, and extolling the benefits of early detection to raising precious dollars to fund ground breaking scientific research, she has helped save countless lives.
The Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Centre at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York City, which she founded in 1989, was the first comprehensive breast and diagnostic centre. It soon became a model for similar facilities around the world.
Today, the centre provides the most up-to-date breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, and outpatient treatment services. In 2000, Evelyn thought up the brilliant Global Landmark Illuminations Initiative, where historic landmarks are lit up in pink during the month of October, which is the global Breast Cancer Awareness month. The tradition is carried out to this day, and will continue far into the future. Estee Lauder affiliates all over the world take part in this annual illuminating ceremony, and the one in Malaysia will take place on Sept 29.
Evelyn passed away from ovarian cancer on Nov 12, 2011 but she received posthumously the inaugural WWD Beauty Inc. Corporate Social Responsibility Award in December. She is recognised for setting a precedent with her industrious mission to raise awareness for breast health and funds for research.
Though she is gone, her great work continues. The BCA campaign will run every year like clockwork, and research for the cure of breast cancer is ongoing. Her husband, sons and daughter-in-law carry on working on her cause. She may not have seen the eradication of cancer in her lifetime, but she has certainly set in motion the journey to get there.