Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

Guest Blogger

Coping with Cancer

Guest Blogger: Harper Mac

Cosmetics magnate and breast cancer research advocate Evelyn Lauder died on November 12th, 2011. The legacy she leaves behind goes far beyond her business acumen—she designed the pink ribbon that symbolizes breast cancer awareness and raised millions of dollars for research to help cure the disease. Succumbing to ovarian cancer at the age of 75, after surviving breast cancer decades earlier, her personal struggle with the illness helped humanize its effects—and glamorize the battle against it.


Lauder demonstrated her commitment to breast cancer awareness on a large scale, helping millions of women and their loved ones focus on treatment, recovery, and survival. Lauder’s fame and wealth gave her the kind of platform and resources that the average woman can only dream about. But everyday women don’t need celebrity or riches to use their struggles with breast cancer to make a difference in the lives of other women—sharing breast cancer survival stories, offering support to women suffering from the illness, and spreading the word about prevention can offer a lifeline to women and families who need hope.

Storytelling to Save Lives

Evelyn Lauder began the Pink Ribbon Campaign in the early 90s as a way to raise the profile of the disease, and the simple symbol encouraged women to reach out to each other and share their stories of survival. The isolation and grief many women feel after being diagnosed with breast cancer can be devastating. Along with the toll that breast cancer treatment can take on a woman’s body, the disease can cause significant mental and spiritual damage as well. Encouraging women to speak out about their struggles and triumphs with breast cancer can show others that they’re not alone in their fight against the disease. Blogging and participating in local support groups are both ways to offer your story and encourage other women to share theirs.

Spreading Prevention

Breast cancer affects every race and social class, but access to resources about awareness and prevention isn’t always available. Evelyn Lauder’s life was dedicated to more than just raising awareness among the general public; she also aimed to raise prevention awareness as well. Women—and men—from all walks of life can help their loved ones and their communities learn more about what women can do to prevent developing breast cancer: volunteering at women’s healthcare centers, posting in online message forums and websites, and offering information to the women in your life can help save lives. By offering the information and tools they need to monitor themselves for breast cancer, you can empower women and help them feel like they have control over their lives.

Evelyn Lauder used her considerable influence and fortune to build a worldwide phenomenon: with the Pink Ribbon Campaign, Lauder created an icon that has revolutionized the way the world views breast cancer. Her contribution to breast cancer awareness is marked most by an aspiration to give millions of other women a voice, to inspire women to take control of their lives and their bodies. But women without Lauder’s glamour and fame can make a difference in women’s lives, and help carry on Lauder’s mission.

About the Author

Harper Mac

Harper Mac loves to write about education. Making time to study and play with her children can be difficult to balance. She feels as if finding the balance is very important to personal health. She loves to learn more about eco-friendly living in her spare time.

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