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Did you know one in 27 South African women are at risk of getting breast cancer?

On 5 August in a studio in Cape Town, 14 breast cancer warriors, survivors and champions came together for a day of glamour and conversation as part of Strawberry Lips #PinkDiaries campaign in partnership with PinkDrive.

Year-on-year, the highlight on the calendar is the Strawberry Lips Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign to raise funds for PinkDrive, an organisation that believes early detection of breast cancer will help prolong life. “2020 threw us a curve-ball, but our Breast Cancer Awareness campaign seemed more vital than ever,” says Strawberry Lips marketing manager, Vanessa Nel. “With everyone more aware of their humanity and mortality, we focused on what was important – sharing breast cancer stories.” And so, the Strawberry Lips #PinkDiaries movement was born.

Strawberry Lips rallied 14 local celebrities, influencers and breast cancer survivors and had them share their stories of how their lives have been affected by breast cancer, encouraging other women to have their regular self-examinations and check-ups. “The experiences that these brave ladies have gone through is testament to their resilience, and we wanted to open up dialogue around their journeys,” adds Vanessa.

Like Jade Wyngaardt, who after being diagnosed with breast cancer discovered she was pregnant with twins, was left with the decision of whether to choose her life or that of her unborn children. Another survivor, Danielle Bitton seemed to have it all as she stood on a stage in China in front of a packed audience singing “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”, only to find a lump in her breast. This disease does not discriminate against age or ethnicity.

“We’re incredibly humbled by Strawberry Lips’ continued support of PinkDrive during breast cancer awareness month, especially this year when the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on our services,” exclaims Noelene Kotschan, CEO and Founder of PinkDrive.

PinkDrive says that approximately 105,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in South Africa every year, but it is estimated that due to lockdown a third of people are not reaching cancer screening services. If a third, or about 35,000 people, are not picked up through screening and referred for treatment, the cost of COVID-19 will be far greater than the number of people who die from it.

So, every week of October Strawberry Lips will be releasing an empowering message from breast cancer warriors, survivors and champions on their social media channels as well as their website.

We encourage you to join the conversation, share your stories and support the movement by contributing to essential breast checks and educational drives.

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