Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 5 Minutes With Elizabeth Hurley
Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness spokesmodel Elizabeth Hurley shares her experiences with being involved in the campaign and why the cause is so close to her heart.
1. What is your role with the Estee Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign?
Each October, I join Evelyn Lauder and travel around the world raising awareness for breast health and funds for breast cancer research. We’ve visited many U.S. cities, as well as the U.K., Australia, France, Holland, India, Italy, Scotland and South Africa, reaching many millions of people each year with our awareness message. We spend time at numerous retailers, meeting as many people as possible and telling them that if a localized breast cancer is detected early, it’s 98% curable. The Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign gives away millions of Pink Ribbons each year as a reminder about the importance of breast health. By the end of October 2011, The Estée Lauder Companies will have given away close to 115 million Pink Ribbons worldwide. We also sell our Pink Ribbon products, which are all wonderful products, and the best part is that they benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF) to help find a cure.
2. When and why did you get involved with the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign?
Just after I started as an Estée Lauder model 16 years ago, Evelyn Lauder asked me to help her with The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. My grandmother had recently died of breast cancer, so it was a cause very close to my heart. This is a disease that knows no boundaries and does not discriminate, touching everyone in every country. We all know someone – a grandmother, friend, mother, aunt, sister, cousin or co-worker – who has battled cancer. Now more than ever, it is important to join together to get the message out: to tell everyone we know to see their doctors regularly and get a mammogram every year if over the age of 40 because if a localized breast cancer is detected early, it’s 98% curable. Survival rates are rising and each year we get closer and closer to finding a cure for this disease.
Evelyn and I have traveled to many countries, meeting wonderful people, handing out Pink Ribbons, selling Pink Ribbon products and bathing gorgeous landmarks in pink lights to raise awareness for breast health. It’s extremely rewarding to work on this campaign and I know that my grandmother would be very proud to see that the information available today about breast health is much more prevalent than ever.
3. What makes this year’s campaign different from past years?
This year, the BCA Campaign has taken their “Connect. Communicate. Conquer.” theme to the next level by emphasizing strength in numbers and the collective power of working together towards a common goal. This year’s theme, “TOGETHER. Connect. Communicate. Conquer. For A Future Free of Breast Cancer.” implores everyone across the globe to join Together to Connect and Communicate with everyone they know – men and women – about the importance of breast health and early detection in order to Conquer this disease once and for all. We cannot underestimate that knowledge is power and we must continue to make a difference by spreading this message.
4. What makes you proud of being a spokesperson for the Estee Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign?
It’s very moving for us when we visit different cities around the world and meet so many people who have been affected by breast cancer in one way or another. Often it will be women who have breast cancer, or have had breast cancer, or have family members who have either survived breast cancer or sadly have not survived breast cancer. Sometimes men are also in line, and when this happens, there is a very good chance that their mother, wife, girlfriend or even they themselves have been stricken by the disease. It is very powerful to meet these people and see firsthand their inner strength. It makes us realize over and over again that our goal for reaching as many people with our awareness message and raising as much money as possible to find a cure is helping, and at some point this will be a thing of the past.
5. What is it like working with Evelyn Lauder?
After working with Evelyn Lauder for over sixteen years, I am still amazed at her unparalleled drive and devotion to this cause. She is extremely passionate about everything she does – from her family, photography, philanthropy, raising awareness for breast cancer awareness and more. Above all, her kindness and sincerity are the traits that inspire me to be a better woman. In 1992, Evelyn co-created the Pink Ribbon with SELF Magazine, and year after year, we travel the world giving away Pink Ribbons and promoting breast health awareness. No matter where we are, Evelyn seems to know all of the Estée Lauder Companies’ employees and loves talking to each of them! This kind of warmth is an indication of the kind of person she is and I am honored to have the opportunity of working so closely with her. She is truly tireless and fearless in her fight to eradicate this disease.
6. What is your involvement with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation?
Every spring, Evelyn Lauder hosts an annual Gala in New York City for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a not-forprofit organization that she founded in 1993 to fund innovative clinical and translational research. At the Gala, I serve as Mistress of Ceremonies, and Sir Elton John is always involved with the event. The theme of this year’s Hot Pink Party was “Tickled Pink” and featured a special concert performance by Sir Elton John and Sting, celebrating their incredible support of BCRF. It was a beautiful evening that raised significant funds for BCRF.
I was incredibly honored and humbled to receive BCRF’s Humanitarian Award the year before last. BCRF is an organization that is truly making a difference through the strong commitment of their 172 dedicated researchers around the world who are determined to find a cure for this disease in the not too distant future.
?What is your favourite way to support October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month?