Today, the world mourns the lost of a great health advocate. An advocate that we perhaps we didn’t even know we needed. She was an activist and advocate for breast cancer awareness.
Did you ever wonder who came up with the Pink Ribbon for breast cancer? Evelyn Lauder and her friend, Alexandra Penney, the former editor-in-chief of SELF magazine co-created the Pink Ribbon in 1992. Ms. Lauder was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. She made it her mission to bring breast cancer awareness to the forefront. She made is okay to say the words “cancer” and “breast” out loud. In the past, it was whispered at best. Now, it is a loud roar.
Evelyn Lauder and Alexandra Penney started a breast awareness campaign through the company Estée Lauder and SELF Magazine. Estée Lauder began handing out breast cancer pink ribbons at the counters to its customers. Self Magazine promoted it in their issues with a special annual issue to boot. And it took off from there. Ms. Lauder created the Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign. Fundraising efforts linked to the Pink Ribbon supported the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, of which she was the Founder and Chairman. According to her website, http://www.evelynlauder.com/, “The BCRF is the first and largest national organization dedicated solely to funding clinical and/or translational research in breast cancer at major medical centers around the globe.” To date, the BCRF has received $350 million in donations. In addition, Ms. Lauder’s advocacy helped lead to the congressional designation of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Ms. Lauder also helped to establish the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Evelyn Lauder is an example of living a full life. Initially, she was trained as a teacher. After marriage into the Lauder family, she joined the company. Eventually, she became Head of Fragrance Development Worldwide at Estee Lauder, creating the famous and successful Clinique line of products. In addition to Clinique, she helped develop the fragrances Beautiful and Pleasures. She was also an accomplished photographer. We can all learn a lot from Evelyn Lauder’s life of advocacy and personal fulfillment. Evelyn Lauder died from complications of ovarian cancer at the age of 75 years old.
To learn more about the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the pink ribbon, and breast cancer awareness, please go to http://www.bcrfcure.org/about.html.