“It knows no borders or boundaries, and it is important to raise the awareness to help prevent it and cure it,” says Canadian-born singer Lights. Although never having gone through breast cancer herself, she has watched several people close to her unravel because of their cancer.
"We have to help each other and not be afraid to speak out, remind one another to check themselves and share information, no matter what the age,” says Vicky Milner, President of The Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards who has personally witnessed breast cancer’s impact on the people around her.
Celebrity stylist and one of Canada’s leading fashion and style experts is supporting the fight to cure breast cancer, especially being a mother herself. “To our friends everywhere with breast cancer, we stand beside you. This is a chapter in your life, not the story, and we are all here fighting with you,” she says.
“Over the years, I have encountered so many other women who have given so much, both in terms of their time and resources, to help support this crucial battle. I am simply proud to stand alongside them in that fight,” says Toronto fashion maven and philanthropist Suzanne Rogers. Although not personally affected by breast cancer, she has had several friends go through the arduous journey and knows how important individual contributions are to campaigns like Estee Lauder’s.
Bryan and Sarah Baeumler
Although not personally suffering from breast cancer, “House of Bryan” star Sarah Baeumler knows what it’s like to have someone close to your heart go through the battle. “To help in any way to lessen that weight on people’s shoulders is an honour,” she says of her and her husband Bryan.
Business powerhouse Belinda Stronach was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and after surviving, the former politician made it her mission to advocate for her own health. “As a private person living in the public eye at the time, it was difficult and I faced many criticisms for the choices I made, but in the end I did what was right for me and my family and I encourage every woman or man facing this diagnosis to do the same," she says.
“Through volunteering with cancer patients, I've also witnessed the strength and spirit this disease brings out in patients and their families,” says Simona Schnaider, wife of Toronto businessman Alex Schnaider, who lost her mother to breast cancer when she was just 16.
"Breast cancer is
particularly cruel to a women's sense of femininity, and it's inspiring
to see a woman take on her changing body with pride," says "The Real Housewives of Toronto" star Roxy Earle, who watched her sister conquer breast cancer.
Jennifer And Georgia Valentyne
I teach my daughter that living a balanced lifestyle consisting of physical activity, nutritious food and self-love can help reduce the risk of breast cancer,” says Jennifer Valentyne, a well-known TV-personality and host of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette Canada" after-show. She and her daughter, Georgia, want to highlight the importance of regular breast exams, essential for a healthier body and well-being.
The Chief Marketing Officer of Mantella Corporations and Toronto socialite Sylvia Mantella, lost her sister Judy to breast cancer in 2002 and made it her mission to help their family in whatever way possible. “Her husband Raymond Mantella was devastated. He had lost the love of his life and the mother to his children. Robert, my husband, and I wanted to do whatever we could for him. We helped raise his youngest son,” she says.
Mother, wife and Principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, watched her Aunt fight breast cancer several years ago and could never imagine what she went through as a mother, not knowing whether she’d see her children grow up. “I know there has been much progress in the research and treatment for breast cancer but the reality is that it is still something to fear. It's important to me to bring awareness to this cause and to make sure this is a disease that one day we won’t have to fear anymore,” she says.
“Cancer changes your life and your priorities. Helping other patients and organizations in whatever capacity I can is what drives my fight against cancer,” says philanthropist and cancer survivor Emmanuelle Gattuso, who has made it her personal mission to improve cancer care for all Canadians.
Chef Susur Lee
Although never having personally lost someone from breast cancer, he has had friends who’ve lost their mothers, wives and sisters. “Losing someone is never easy, but we are getting so close to finding a cure that a little goes a long way. My heart goes out to anyone who’s lost a mother, wife, sister, or daughter to breast cancer,” he says.
Having her mother pass away from breast cancer and two of her aunts go through the gruelling battle as well, Amoryn Engel, the society editor for The National Post, had an elective double mastectomy to have a better chance of a happier and healthier life with her family. “We live in an incredible country where women like myself can be proactive and make a huge difference not only in our own lives, but in the lives of the people we love so much,” she says.