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Bright Pink

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This year, Dogeared is honored to support Bright Pink, the only national non-profit focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Focused on education and support programs, Bright Pink has made a commitment to enlightening and empowering young women to be proactive with their breast and ovarian health. We love their focus on the power of connection; the Bright Pink community provides trusted and unconditional support to young women taking on a proactive, preventative lifestyle while also providing the same to those in high risk situations.

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Knowledge Is Power

Bright Pink provides prevention methods through easy-to-access educational workshops, like the 20-minute Brighten Up Your Community workshop lead by a certified Bright Pink Education Ambassador. Striving to continuously educate the youngest generation of women, Bright Pink connects generations of women through support programs such as Pink Pal and Experiential Outreach.

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Awareness To Action

Knowledge is a powerful tool, but it doesn’t stop there. We really love that Bright Pink is not just about being aware, it’s about being bold and taking action! The Bright Pink community provides a checklist of proactive steps, including risk reduction, early detection and breast health reminders – sign up and you’ll receive a monthly text reminder to remember to be breast self-aware.

Bright Pink + Dogeared

Dogeared will donate 5% of every I AM Brave purchase between October 1-31, 2014 to Bright Pink. Proceeds will benefit education and support programs.

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Bright Pink photos courtesy of Erica Gatmaitan

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The Journey of Pink Links

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible”

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They did it!!! And Dogeared was honored to follow along Pink Links’ journey as they successfully completed 40 miles for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in NYC last weekend! Congratulations to such an inspiring and joyful group of women who raised over $71,000, making Pink Links the 4th largest fundraising team. Truly an incredible accomplishment! The ladies were bonded by strength in numbers. Their motivation for this year’s walk was fellow Pink Link and recently diagnosed friend, Hillary Kaplan in addition to other special women in their lives.

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Hillary Kaplan, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2013, served as an incredible inspiration for her Pink Links friends & teammates. She wears one of the 70 custom Dogeared necklaces (above) sent to the team to wear & share with fellow walkers along the way. Hillary surprised the team by leaving 6 personal notes for them to open as they reached milestones throughout their journey. Photo: With lots of love and support, Hillary sent off Pink Links to NYC. 

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Early morning sunrise on day 1 of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

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Pink Links shared custom Dogeared necklaces with other supporters, survivors, family members & friends along the way.

From left to right: 1. Fellow walker who lost her mom and grandmother to breast cancer receives a necklace from a Pink Link who had a prophylactic mastectomy and is also a sister of a survivor  2. Multi-year walker going in for surgery soon with Pink Links team leader, Amy Rollins  3. Renee Sherman on the left is a 5-year survivor  4. Gerri Rothfleisch, whose mom is undergoing treatment now, provides a Dogeared necklace to another survivor along the journey.

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Day 2 brought lots of excitement as Pink Links neared the finish line!

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In the words of Pink Links:

“Each and every one of you made a difference!  You made a difference by raising funds-which will directly impact breast cancer research, funding, meals for patients with breast cancer, hospitals, etc.  You have made a difference by giving a necklace to someone who needed hope, inspiration- or someone who inspired you.  You made a difference by showing Hillary your love, support & dedication at a time when she needs it most.”

“Together…We were a movement!  We certainly made an impact with our presence on this journey.  While we may not have been the first ones in…we did it together- and we were truly there for each other every step of the way- beautiful!!!”

“What a blessing to feel the love and intense emotion of the love and friendship that surged throughout this team.”

“What a rush!!! What a special weekend! What wonderful women!”

“I have to say that among my favorites was passing out the Dogeared necklaces.  I loved that we all had many chances to put a smile on people’s faces.”

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The Pink Links ladies were greeted with LOTS of smiles from their families at the finish line as they were reminded why they do what they do – it’s all for love! Thank you to Pink Links for sharing your stories with us, you’ve truly touched our lives. xo

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20 Girls. 40 Miles. 1 Mission.

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Meet Pink Links – a group of 20 incredible women on a mission to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of self-exams. This weekend, Pink Links are undertaking the 40 Mile Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in NYC to support their good friend Hillary Kaplan, and other special women in their lives. Their mission is centered around the importance of self-examinations and early diagnosis. The ladies from Pink Links gain strength in numbers and positive energy – together, they have raised over $57,000 with hope to find a cure!

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Dogeared was touched and inspired by the Pink Links story and decided to send 70 custom necklaces with HOPE for Pink Links to wear and share on their journey this weekend. Follow us, as we follow the Pink Links, over the next few days on their awe-inspiring mission! Wishing the best of luck to the Pink Links team:

Amy Rollins, Jonna Berman, Heather Bloch, Allison Cohen, Helene Coustan, Nicole Frankel, Pamela Friedman, Leanne Glassman, Lauren Gottlieb, Laurie Grossman, Beth Jarecki, Lauren Laconti, Lisa Meiselman, Lauren Roth, Gerri Rothfleisch, Pamela Sachs, Renee Sherman, Miriam Silver Verga, Jennifer Wallis and meet their friend and inspiration, Hillary Kaplan.

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My Journey – Hillary Kaplan

I found a tiny lump in my breast in June 2013, it was something I never felt before and was different than the normal lumps we all feel in our breasts. I check myself every once in a while, usually in the shower as it is the easiest place to do it.  I went for a mammography for peace of mind and my doctor had some concern that I should get a biopsy.  It turned out that I was diagnosed with breast cancer, early stage 1A.  After a large amount of thinking, debating, and soul-searching, I decided to opt for aggressive treatment and get a bilateral mastectomy, which was performed on August 14, 2013 at Memorial Sloan Kettering. During the surgery, my doctor found one lymph node positive which bumped me up to stage 2A.  I have now gone through my first of 8 rounds of Chemotherapy, every other week, which is scheduled to continue into January. During this entire process, I have tried my best to approach every decision step by step, dealing with the question or issue that was being presented to me at that time and based on the solid advice of my doctors. As importantly, I realized quickly that I wasn’t fighting cancer alone – I was provided the most amazing and humbling outpouring of community support, from our neighbors, our wonderful group of Westfield lady friends (Pink Links), and our family including my husband and 3 children (ages 9-14).  I continue to feel fortunate for my support network every day. The best medicine (in addition to the Chemo!) is knowing you have people who care about you, whether it is bringing over a pair of PJ’s after I left the hospital, or a bracelet, or flowers, or cooking a meal for my family, or sending a card, or a note, or a text … all those tokens of love and care really keep the fire going within me.  For me it has never been, “why me?”, I know why – in part, I believe that my experience might be able to help other women, to get to know your body, check yourself, go to yearly exams and be in control of your health.  I have faced cancer head-on like I face life — with a positive attitude, honesty, dignity with some style sprinkled on top. When I do close this chapter of my life, I will be that much stronger for it and thank all the angels who have touched my life and helped me thru this journey. 

photo credit: Joanie Schwarz Photography

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