In January of 2011 my mom was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. You never think it will happen to you, until it does. It was a terrifying experience, especially living in New York while she was back in Chicago. I couldn’t physically be there as often as I wanted to, but flew home frequently to be there throughout the process.
While it all feels like it happened yesterday, there’s one moment that I’ll never forget. My mom’s case was one that could have been treated with or without chemotherapy. After second and third opinions, the bottom line was that it was better to be safe than sorry. Days after she started to lose her hair she made the decision to shave it off.
One of her best friends, Wendy, her longtime hair stylist and dear friend, Dina, myself, and my mom gathered in the bathroom. I held her hand while Dina shaved and honestly it was one of the most empowering moments I’ve ever experienced. Tears overflowed with heavy emotion—the battle of feeling control and lack thereof, courage against fear. It was overwhelming.
Coincidentally, when I returned back to New York other parts of my world had also started to crumble. I needed an outlet to invest my energy, and, so, I started Miss Ladyfinger.
Today, I am grateful to be able to say that I am a daughter of a breast cancer survivor (she’s a warrior, really).
Long before she was diagnosed, my mom and I would participate in the Y-Me and Susan G. Komen walks on Mother’s Day in Chicago every year. In September of 2011, we created Team Elle’s Belles and raised over $8,000 to donate to breast cancer research.
This disease affects many people, which is why Breast Cancer Awareness month is so important. There are tons of non-profit organizations that facilitate support directly to people going through similar things.
Here are a couple of my favorites:
Bright Pink (http://brightpink.org) is for those of us young women who are at high risk for developing ovarian and breast cancer. They focus on risk deduction and early detection.
Imerman’s Angels (http://imermansangels.org) carefully matches someone recently touched by cancer with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel if you will). You don’t have to go through it alone.
Knowledge is power, ladies, so spread the word and donate if you can. In the meantime, save the tatas and paint those Ladyfingers!
P.S. Don’t forget to tell your mom you love her today (and every day).
To get this look, I used Bombshell Pink by Victoria Secret, Pink Works from Essie’s Breast Cancer Awareness collection, My Vampire is Buff by OPI, and a white nail art brush.
1. Tape off a 2/3 of your nail in diagonal shape and paint the top of your nail hot pink
2. In the remaining portion of your nail paint a soft pink shade
3. In pale pink or beige color paint along the bottom of your nail making the line parallel to the line where the other two pinks meet
4. Using a white nail art brush create diagonal lines in the same direction
5. Make diagonal lines in the opposite direction
6. Top it off with top coat
(Nail Photos: Taryn Multack for Miss Ladyfinger)Tags: Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Essie, Miss Ladyfinger, Nail Art, OPI, Victoria's Secret