Here’s a fair warning: if you’re used to reading my horoscopes, the tone of this might feel a little different. I’m probably not very well known for being sincere, but with breast cancer being a cause so close to my heart, I can risk being sincere for one article.
Two of my favourite people in the world have had breast cancer: my Mum and my Grandmother (or “Nanny”, as she was known to me and my cousins). My Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer 21 years ago, and I am constantly amazed at how she, as a young woman in her thirties, managed to balance major surgery alongside having a toddler, holding down a job and running a household. She is one of the strongest people I know. In 2017, my Nanny was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, and we lost her less than a year after her diagnosis. It’s a bastard of a disease.
I don’t know if earlier detection would have saved my Nanny- honestly, it’s too upsetting to think her death might have been preventable. But I do know that I am so, so passionate that people keep checking their chests. Early detection increases the likelihood of treatment being successful.
I know the temptation to be blissfully ignorant and not check your breasts, and it’s a feeling that is out of fear. But I also want to make sure that if you’re reading this, you’re checking your breasts- both ASAP and regularly.
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re raising money and awareness by launching the Mystic Chest t-shirt and jumper. You can put the power into your own hands and affect the outcome of your future: at risk of sounding like a broken record, early detection saves lives. The design might be a little irreverent, but that’s how we do things at Gef- and when we laugh, we can reduce the fear we feel.
Not only is this a design to encourage people to check their chests, but all the proceeds will go to Breast Cancer Now Volunteering in the Isle of Man and Isle of Man Breast Care. Both charities support people with breast cancer. Breast Cancer Now Volunteering in the Isle of Man provides vital research into the disease to make sure that by 2050, everyone with breast cancer lives, and lives well. Isle of Man Breast Care provides practical, financial and emotional support to those with breast cancer on island.
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we will be profiling the models of the Fashion for Life Fashion Show, run by Isle of Man Breast Care and Breast Cancer Now Volunteering in the Isle of Man. The clothes in the show are modeled by breast cancer survivors. You can buy tickets at: https://www.villagaiety.com/whats-on/fashion-for-life/
You can buy your Mystic Chest T-shirt or Jumper here: https://www.gefthemongoose.net/shop/collections/mystic-chest
PS: If you’re wondering about the name, it comes from some really witty people on Facebook thinking they were making really witty observations about how large my chest is. Instead of letting the Facebook Dads objectify me, I’m reclaiming the name and doing something that’ll hopefully make a small difference, for a cause I truly care about. Take that, perverts.