As a PR agency we are often hooking our client’s stories on to national, and international awareness days or months. Whilst many can seem a little ridiculous (to some, maybe not so much to others), such as National Dress Up Your Pet Day and National Flip Flop Day, other awareness campaigns prove vital in raising awareness of subject matters that can often be brushed under the carpet for fear of how real, and sometimes close to home, the issue can be.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a perfect example of a time that helps to raise awareness of a disease that affects nearly 55,000 people a year. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK with on average, one person being diagnosed with breast cancer every 10 minutes.
It’s vital that we recognise, praise and support the work that charities such as Breast Cancer Care, The Pink Ribbon Foundation and CoppaFeel (to name but a few) are doing all year round because 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop the disease in their lifetime and around 400 men are diagnosed each year. October however, is the month that thrusts the topic into the media spotlight more than ever.
So what better time to share three stories of breast cancer, which thanks to the media, reached me, struck a cord with me and will always stay with me.
Angelina Jolie speaks out about the BRCA1 gene
In 2013 actress and Humanitarian Angelina Jolie wrote an open letter to the New York Times. In the letter she spoke openly and honestly about her mother’s death, following her battle with breast cancer, and revealed she had undergone a preventative double mastectomy because she carried the ‘faulty’ BRCA1 gene.
She did so because she didn’t want her children to go through the trauma of loosing a parent.
The letter led to the number of women getting tested for the gene doubling, a phenomenon dubbed by researchers as the ‘Angelina Jolie effect’.
Kris Hallenga launches CoppaFeel
Kris Hallenga was just 23 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Determined not to let the disease beat her, Kris decided to battle it in more ways than one, setting up charity CoppaFeel and making it her mission to encourage young people everywhere to accept that breast cancer can affect everyone, at any age, and to encourage them to regularly check their breasts.
Within weeks Kris was appearing on TV and in the national press, raising money for the charity and raising awareness amongst a generation of young people.
Laura Saull charts her brutally honest battle with stage 4 cancer
Laura Saull is an old friend of mine who is currently sharing her horrific journey of battling breast cancer in the form of a brutally honest blog, for OK! Magazine. Her aim is to raise awareness of breast cancer and raise money for research into the cause, effect and treatment of the disease, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Every day of the month she shares what she has to go through as she battles the illness that she has already fought once before.
Laura’s blog is heartbreaking to read, but everyday the one thing that shines through so bright is her incredible strength and positive attitude towards life. She’s only 27 so her story certainly reminds me, and I’m sure many others, that life is precious. To me, there’s no more attractive quality than an attitude that’s always glass half full.
As a PR agency we are often hooking our client's stories on to national, and international awareness days or months. Whilst many can seem a little ridiculous (to some, maybe not so much to others), such as National Dress Up Your Pet Day and National Flip Flop Day, other awareness campaigns prove vital in raising awareness of subject matters that can often be brushed under the carpet for fear of how real, and sometimes close to home, the issue can be.