October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this annual campaign strives to create a dialogue and encourage a nationwide drive around the debilitating disease. As a way to support and create awareness, Sandton City Shopping Centre has partnered with the Breast Health Foundation to provide areola tattoos to cancer survivors who cannot afford the final phase of breast reconstruction.
The Breast Health Foundation (BHF), is a Not for Profit established in April 2002 in conjunction with several companies and organisations to educate the public on breast cancer and breast health, increase awareness and empower women.
Sandton City and BHF are equally as passionate about this campaign and together they endeavour to educate audiences near and far about breast cancer through a series of emotive and informative videos which highlight the disease, its effects, and all that goes into treating it. Projected on Sandton City’s online platforms, these videos profile persons who have had first-hand experience with breast cancer, as well as persons who dedicate their lives to helping and supporting the patients and survivors of breast cancer. These videos tell stories of experiences in undergoing surgery all the way through to closing the chapter of breast cancer with a renewed sense of self.
“I love my scars, they show what I have come through and what I have survived”, says survivor Henrietta Van Kramberg, “but there is a huge difference in my breasts and I would love to have them both looking the same”.
Some survivors are able to close their chapter with breast cancer by having reconstructive breast surgery, while some survivors do not have the financial means to access such a service and are unable to regain their confidence in their bodies in this way. This is where areola tattoos have gained recognition. Areola tattoos involve the tattooing of the areola on the breast of a survivor in place of the areola that may have been removed during surgical breast cancer treatment.
Sandton City and BHF’s Breast Cancer Awareness campaign does not end with the video series, it goes one step further in making a physical difference in the way survivors feel about themselves.
“The Breast Health Foundation is very excited to be partnering with Sandton City to provide funding for areola tattooing for patients that are unable to access the service financially”, says Louise Turner, COO of the Breast Health Foundation.
Sandton City and the Breast Health Foundation will be helping numerous survivors across the country, by covering the cost of their areola tattoos in a hope to assist them in some small way to feel empowered and confident again.