Breast Cancer Awareness Month: The Home Stretch
October is coming to a close, which means Alfred Angelo only has a few more days to reach its goal of raising $15,000 for the Feel Your Boobies organization. Find out how you can help us reach our goal here.
To understand the significance of Feel Your Boobies, we thought you’d like to learn more about the organization from its Founder, Leigh Hurst.
HOW DID THE FEEL YOUR BOOBIES FOUNDATION BEGIN?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 at age 33 after feeling a lump on my own that was undetected by doctors. After finally being sent for a mammogram, the lump I had felt on my own for a couple of years turned out to be cancer. At that time, I realized that the only reason I found my cancer was because I “felt by boobies” and noticed that something felt different. I made t-shirts that said “Feel Your Boobies,” and posted them to a website, simply to remind my friends to be proactive. I soon received orders for t-shirts from thousands of people from across the country that I didn’t even know. At that point, I knew this had become something that I needed to pursue in a more serious way, and the Feel Your Boobies organization was born.
WHAT KEPT YOU GOING & FIGHTING DURING YOUR BREAST CANCER TREATMENT?
Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was living in NYC and decided that I was ready to simplify my life and move back to the small town in Central PA where I grew up. Ironically, after less than 6 months from moving back to my hometown, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Any doubt I had about making this move went away and started to make sense as my small community and family became my biggest support system. I could never have gotten through my diagnosis and treatment if I hadn’t have been in a place where I had so many people there for me. My goal for simplifying my life allowed me not only to get through my breast cancer experience, but also afforded me the opportunity to start and pursue the mission of Feel Your Boobies—something I never could have done living in NYC. Our campaign has saved lives…having many testimonials from women who say our unconventional approach has resulted in their own breast cancer diagnosis.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO LEARN FROM THE FEEL YOUR BOOBIES CAMPAIGN?
The only goal and mission of the Feel Your Boobies campaign is to remind young women to “feel their boobies” and that knowing their body can truly save their lives. For me, the doctors didn’t notice my lump, so had I not been aware of how my own body felt, it could have gone much longer until I was diagnosed, resulting in a much more serious diagnosis.
HOW DID YOU END UP PARTNERING WITH ALFRED ANGELO?
The Feel Your Boobies campaign focuses primarily on the use of social media. We have been able to reach a large, international audience…having more than 380K followers on Facebook (making us one of the largest breast cancer orgs on Facebook). One of our Facebook followers got a job at Alfred Angelo and suggested partnering to reach even more young women. The Feel Your Boobies/Alfred Angelo partnership has evolved over the years and allowed us to grow our outreach programs to reach even more young women that prior to our partnership would not have been possible.
HOW CAN PEOPLE GET INVOLVED AND SUPPORT FEEL YOUR BOOBIES?
The best way to support Feel Your Boobies is to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch. Donations from our social media communities make it possible for us to develop programs such as the College Outreach Program and the Alfred Angelo “Remind A Friend” campaign. This year, in the 2nd year of the program’s existence, the College Outreach Program has provided free breast health education materials to over 150 colleges nationwide (in 38 states). It’s interesting to note, that the Foundation is still run out of my home and I do it primarily alone. We are very grassroots, but making a large difference. Even the smallest of donations make it possible to pursue our mission. We also have merchandise on the SHOP page of our website where 100% of profits support our campaign.
Leigh Hurst, Founder, Feel Your Boobies