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shareworthy stories + quotes
this week ~ Breast Cancer Awareness Month
october 2, 2015

Cancer wherever it strikes the body, also strikes the spirit, and the best doctors in the world cannot cure the spirit. Only love and understanding can.
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awareness + action

Breast cancer touches practically everyone. One in 8 women is diagnosed with it. The good news is ~ awareness about the disease has never been higher. Today is a far cry from 1974, when it was shocking for First Lady Betty Ford to publicly discuss her mastectomy.

More women than ever are giving each other strength by sharing their experiences with cancer + its aftermath. And, more money than ever is being put towards research to not only treat breast cancer cases but put a stop to it altogether.

Here are stories of women who’ve helped empower female patients and cure their spirits with love + understanding.


Ruth Handler
the prosthesis pioneer

Ruth Handler_newsletter

"I was really depressed. But I felt even worse when I went looking for a good prosthesis. I tried every breast on the market. They were globs; there were no lefts or rights. You wouldn't think of putting your right shoe on your left foot, would you?"
source it! Ruth Handler

~ the 10th child of Jewish Polish immigrants who settled in Denver

~ a Hollywood secretary who started 3 plastics companies with her husband
from their garage

~ the co-founder + president of Mattel, the US’s largest toy manufacturer

In 1959, Ruth Handler brought out Barbie ~ the first doll to feature a famously ample bosom. Clad in a strapless swimsuit + stilettos, the iconic toy shook up a market dominated by baby dolls. Seventeen years later, the woman who sparked controversy with the success of her busty Barbies announced that she was going back into the “breast business.” This time, creating prosthetics for adult women.

Ruth was diagnosed with cancer in 1970 and had her left breast removed. Unable to find a prosthesis that fit or felt comfortable, she decided it was time to manufacture one herself. She brought together doctors, chemists, engineers, designers + survivors to do better for her fellow “mastectomees.” Ruth’s foam + silicone models not only had a more accurate size + shape, but also weight + feel.

Unlike her first breast business, Nearly Me never made Ruth much money. The work had another pay-off ~ restoring other women’s self-esteem restored her own.

Ruth’s legendary sales pitch? Inviting women to give her bra a “good squeeze” to see if they could tell the difference! See more bold moves from the “marketing genius”...

Ruth Handler

Susan Love
the revolutionary researcher

Susan Love_newsletter.jpg

"It soon became apparent to me that what started as career really was gonna be a mission."
source it! Susan Love

~ a New Jersey girl who was one of 4 female grads at the top of her 1974 class at med school

~ the first female surgeon at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital + a clinical professor at The David Geffen School of Medicine

~ a leukemia survivor + leading cancer researcher

She’s known as the mother of breast cancer research + advocacy. She’s the author of the “breast cancer bible” that’s in its sixth edition today. She’s a prominent public health advisor who’s organizing “an army of women” to eradicate the disease. But, when Susan Love got her start as a surgeon in 1980, she didn’t want a career in women’s health.

That is, until she saw how female patients were being treated. Hospital protocol was paternalistic. Women were often kept in the dark about their own diagnoses while doctors + husbands made medical decisions for them. They could go in for a biopsy and wake up with a radical mastectomy.

Curing breast cancer very quickly became not only Susan’s professional specialty but her life’s mission. Since 1988, the surgeon has helped found a clinic, lobbying group + research foundation that have ushered in major advances in the field. Now, Susan is pushing beyond treatment to find the underlying causes. She’s recruiting one million women for a game-changing longitudinal study. 379,000 ladies have signed on already to help put a stop to breast cancer. Discover how you can enlist in Susan’s “army of women”...

Susan Love

Angelina Jolie
the courageous editorialist

Angelina Jolie_newsletter.jpg

"I do not feel any less a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice."
source it! Angelina Jolie

~ a Tinseltown wild child who followed her parents into the film industry

~ an Oscar-winning actor + humanitarian filmmaker

~ a feminist, environmentalist + UN special envoy for refugees

The women in Angelina Jolie’s family had been hit hard by cancer. The disease claimed the lives of her mother, aunt + grandmother. With 6 children of her own to raise, the actor decided to be proactive about her health risk factors. When genetic testing revealed an 87% chance of developing breast cancer, she opted for a preventative double mastectomy at age 37. Two years later, she had her ovaries removed.

Following both brave choices, the patient became a high-profile health educator. In spite of her status as a sex symbol, Angelina wasn’t afraid to go public with her experiences of personal health issues that often involve fears about lessened desirability and femininity. Angelina’s editorials encouraged other women to take control of their own bodies. And, counter fear with informed decision-making.

Studies in the US, Europe + Australia have confirmed the positive impact of sharing her story. The “Angelina effect” has increased awareness about preventive + reconstructive surgery, plus as much as doubled the number of women who’ve sought genetic testing.

Women’s health isn’t Angelina’s only cause ~ find out more about the movements + films she backs...

Angelina Jolie

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Quotabelle news   who said it?

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If you find yourself at a loss for words, use Quotabelle’s browse-by bar to discover quotes that speak to you. And, help you speak to those in your community.

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"True strength isn’t when you face down life’s challenges on your own, it’s when you take them on by accepting the help, faith and love of others and knowing you are lucky to have those." 
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation." 
"The doctor can make the incision, but I'll make the decision." 

from our #citeseers
survival lessons...

When you help others, your own troubles aren't as heavy. In fact, you can fold them like a handkerchief and place them in your pocket. They're still there, but they're not the only thing you carry. In life you sort out a lot of things but you can’t solve everything. You carry some of the things you can’t untangle and that’s perfectly fine...You live your life and you carry it with you.

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