Bringing together breast cancer warriors, survivors and champions

On 5 August in a studio in Cape Town, 14 breast cancer warriors, survivors and champions came together for a day of glamour and conversation as part of Strawberry Lips #PinkDiaries campaign in partnership with PinkDrive.

Always a highlight on the content calendar is the Strawberry Lips Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign to raise funds for PinkDrive. As the number one cancer affecting South African women and with one in 27 women developing the disease in their lifetime, it’s an important cause to Strawberry Lips as a feminine and fearless brand. As the COVID-19 level one lockdown rolled in, one thing became clear, now more than ever it was important to not only support an NGO who was on the frontlines to get treatment and screenings to those without medical resources, especially since the pandemic had another dangerous impact. According to PinkDrive, approximately 105,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in South Africa every year, but it is estimated that due to lockdown a third of people are not reaching cancer screening services. If a third, or about 35,000 people, are not picked up through screening and referred for treatment, the cost of COVID-19 will be far greater than the number of people who die from it.

Strawberry Lips went back to the drawing board and looked where they could adapt and came back with #PinkDiaries. Launching on 1 October, the campaign will consist of 14 compelling stories from local celebrities, influencers and breast cancer survivors as they share how their lives have been affected by breast cancer, encouraging others to do regular self-examinations and check-ups.

In one studio, Strawberry Lips brought together breast cancer warriors, survivors and champions face-to-face with others who too had lost people in their lives, but also women who have overcome what many thought was impossible to now stand in front of a camera and proudly exclaim ‘I’m a breast cancer survivor.’

“The experiences that these brave women have gone through is testament to their resilience, and we wanted to open up dialogue around their journeys,” says Vanessa Nel, Strawberry Lips marketing manager.

Like those of Mompreneur Jade Wyngaardt who seemed to have it all, a thriving business and two gorgeous children, only to be diagnosed with breast cancer and then discover that she was also pregnant. Her doctors told her she had to make a choice, either she could leave her born children motherless or abort her unborn twins. Danielle Bitton, aka the Sea Point Balcony singer, was living her dream as the lead Eva Peron in the worldwide tour of the hit musical Evita when she discovered a lump in her breast. Instead of falling apart, she channelled her fears and anxiety into the role she was born for – that of a warrior. While celebs Sibs Mafu and Zoe Brown share their experiences of losing loved ones to breast cancer and taking that pain and channelling it instead to encouraging everyone in their lives to do regular breast examinations so that they don’t become a statistic. And, so much more.

“We’re incredibly humbled by Strawberry Lips’ continued support of PinkDrive during breast cancer awareness month, especially this year when the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on our services,” exclaims Noelene Kotschan, CEO and Founder PinkDrive. “PinkDrive relies on the support of corporate organisations and individuals and all contributions will assist us to continue to deliver our free cancer screening services to the medically uninsured. This financial support will go a long way, thank you.”

Not showing support for our fellow breast cancer warriors isn’t an option. Not this year, not ever. For every week of October, Strawberry Lips will be sharing the stories of brave South African Women and opening dialogue to inform and overcome anxieties, so that more of us get screening to prevent and combat breast cancer.

Join the conversation, share your stories and support the movement by contributing to essential breast checks and educational drives.

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