CHICAGO (CBS) — A giant pink bra has been erected on the Magnificent Mile to kick of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Advocate Health Care’s 16-foot “Support Bra” on Pioneer Plaza, next to the Tribune Tower, stands like a beacon. Advocate is donating $1 to the American Cancer Society for every photo of the “Support Bra” tagged with #SupportYourGirls on Twitter or Instagram all month long, up to a total of $5,000.
“It’s a great way to bring awareness to early detection, especially for me. Had I not been diagnosed as early as I was, had I not been diligent about it, who knows where I would be?” said cancer survivor Lauren Wakefield.
She was 26 when she found a lump on her breast four years ago, and was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer.
Dr. Heidi Memmel, a breast surgeon at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, said early detection is one of the most important aspects of treating and surviving breast cancer.
“We’re here hoping that women will see the giant bra, and it will remind them to get their mammogram,” she said. “When you detect something when it’s tiny, it is completely treatable.”
On Wakefield’s first day of chemotherapy, her friend Sidne Hirsch gave her a pair of bright blue, glittery, spike-covered high heels, which both wore for the kickoff of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“I wore them to every treatment, and they were kind of this little piece of happiness,” Wakefield said.
Hirsch said the heels were designed to kick cancer’s butt.
“I thought the shoes would sort of be a bigger impact,” she said.
From those shews grew the non-profit breast cancer support group Healing Heels, a Kickstarter campaign that has raised more than $11,000 in the past year. It’s a line of “seriously kick-ass shoes for women everywhere to conquer whatever it is they are facing.”