Breast Cancer Survivor Flaunts Her Illness at Beauty Pageant to Raise Awareness Among Young Women

January 22, 2001

Breast Cancer Survivor Flaunts Her Illness at Beauty Pageant to Raise Awareness Among Young Women

CHARLOTTE, NC - (January 22, 2001)

Charlotte resident Lauren Brower will compete in the 2001 Global America Pageant as the Central Mrs. North Carolina Representative. While Lauren has competed in pageants before, she comes to this pageant with a particular mission beyond winning the crown - raise awareness of the risk of breast cancer in young women.
 
Her interest in this issue is not solely altruistic. Brower herself was recently diagnosed with the life-threatening illness at the age of 34. To battle her illness, Brower has undergone surgery and is currently on chemotherapy treatments, which will be continuing right up until the pageant date in June.
 
"Instead of concentrating on new hairstyles, I'll be concentrating on my blood counts," she says. Although, she admits that she is shopping for some "fabulous wigs."
 
"I plan to participate regardless of my chemotherapy treatments because I believe my presence will have a dramatic and profound impact on those attending the pageant," Brower continues. "I think seeing someone who is continuing to live their life as they fight this disease is the best way to prove that cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence. I plan to drive home the fact that it is not only all right to put the struggle out there for the public to see, but also absolutely necessary if we are to generate greater understanding among young women that they are not immune from this disease."
What's unique about the particular pageant Brower has selected to participate in is that a portion of the proceeds it generates will be donated to (NAME?) Breast Center in South Carolina and the contestants are educated in the proper execution of breast self exams.

"Although breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women ages 35 to 40, mammograms are rarely recommended for women in that age group, like myself," Brower explains. "That's why it's so important for younger women to be familiar with their bodies and conduct regular, monthly breast self exams. Currently, it is the best tool we have to identify a potential cancer before it spreads."
Brower is also becoming active member of the Young Survival Coalition (YSC); the only non-profit organization that focuses on the unique issues and challenges faced by women ages 40 and under that are diagnosed with breast cancer. "They are the one's who've shown me I'm not alone and that this is a real threat to, our young mothers, sisters and daughters and even our work force," explains Brower.

Through action, advocacy and awareness, the YSC seeks to educate and influence the medical, research, breast cancer and legislative communities to address breast cancer in women 40 and under, and to serve as a point of contact for young women living with breast cancer.

For more information on the Young Survival Coalition, The Global America Pageant or to reach Lauren Brower, contact 704-510-1506.