In honor of breast cancer awareness month, I decided to take a look around and see if I could find an inspirational story of a breast cancer survivor who is using digital media to give back. There are a lot of stories out there about breast cancer awareness and the campaign has become so huge that it’s quite literally impossible not to think of your cha-chas all month. It’s fantastic that the movement has caught on and clearly it is working as the most recent statistics show us that the survival rate is up to 68% of diagnosed patients. This post is designed to help the 1,596,670 new patients who will be diagnosed with breast cancer THIS YEAR, according to the American Cancer Society!

Have you ever had a friend tell you they have breast cancer? Have you been stopped dead in your tracks and wonder what should I say? What can I do?

This is the part of breast cancer that many don’t talk about, the physical and emotional strains of undergoing treatment. Lisa Lurie and Ellen Weis Kander, the Founders of Cancer Be Glammed are working to change that. Lisa has an amazing story of breast cancer survival herself.

Lisa Lurie, CEO and Co-Founder of Cancer Be Glammed “In the spring of 2008, at age 47, I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer. I had a double mastectomy followed by chemotherapy. I used to joke to my friends, ‘Cancer forces you to check your vanity at the door.’ Even though I was sick, I wanted to look and try to feel much like I had prior to my ride on the cancer rollercoaster. It was important for me, and my family. I started searching for products like headscarves made from beautiful fabrics, mastectomy bras that didn’t make me feel like I had turned into my grandmother,  clothing that worked well with my new figure, and products that soothed my body (and soul.) I searched the internet and had wonderful family and friends like Ellen that hit the stores.”

Ultimately, what she found was that it is really hard to find clothes that provide the functional needs for someone who has undergone a mastectomy while remaining stylish and helping you feel “good” about yourself. So, her and Ellen created Cancer Be Glammed, a website dedicated to bringing together stylish fashions and hard-to-find products for women who are under-going cancer treatment. They also created the guide, What the Doctor Didn’t Order to help women be prepared for the day-to-day challenges of dressing, looking and feeling their best during treatment, which even includes a fantastic shopping check list. It is a must have for anyone who has received a cancer diagnosis.

While the site has an amazing line up of products from all over the web that are sure to make anyone undergoing treatment feel more confident about their appearance they are also working on providing support for patients through social media channels.

Cancer Be Glammed HatAsk Ellen and Lisa

Undergoing treatment is not easy and it’s important to have an outlet for support and questions that you may not feel comfortable asking family. It is tough to be stoic for everyone else, while you have so much uncertainty inside. As a result Ellen and Lisa provide answers to questions submitted by readers in the Ask Ellen and Lisa section on their blog.

Get Inspiration and Useful Tips

If a dose of inspiration is in order, be sure to follow Cancer Be Glammed on Twitter and Facebook. I found the stream of updates to be informative, inspirational and at times even fun. They are just getting started in social media so I hope you will show your support and help spread the word.

So back to the question, what do you do when someone you care for is diagnosed with breast cancer? I say, show them they can still rock a little bling!

*Disclosure. Cancer Be Glammed, is a for-profit company designed to help women who are undergoing cancer treatments. I think what they are doing is a much needed service for an under-served market and decided to tell you about it. I hope you tell others and help raise awareness on how to help those who are diagnosed with cancer in honor of breast cancer awareness month.

What great resources have you found for patients under-going cancer treatments? What inspirational stories do you have to share? How are you supporting breast cancer awareness month?

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About Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly is the CEO of Social Media Explorer|SME Digital. She is also the author of How to Measure Social Media. Her team helps companies figure out where social media fits and then helps execute the recommended strategy across the “right” mix of social media channels. Do you want to rock the awesome with your digital marketing strategy? Contact Nichole

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.becomeafranchiseowner.biz The Franchise King

    Thanks for sharing. 

    My mother-in-law is going through chemo for it right now, and it’s kicking her ass. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks!

    So many women that I know have had breast cancer. A total cure is what’s needed.

    100%

    JL

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      JL – Thanks so much for sharing. I will keep your mother-in-law in my thoughts and prayers and wish her and your family the best. Nichole

  • http://www.becomeafranchiseowner.biz The Franchise King

    Thanks for sharing. 

    My mother-in-law is going through chemo for it right now, and it’s kicking her ass. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks!

    So many women that I know have had breast cancer. A total cure is what’s needed.

    100%

    JL

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      JL – Thanks so much for sharing. I will keep your mother-in-law in my thoughts and prayers and wish her and your family the best. Nichole

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    One of my friends has suffered a lot because of this and right now she is recovering. And care is the only thing that we can share with them and keep them motivated…

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Thanks for adding to the discussion. I hope your friend recovers with grace and style. Your friend will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Lisa

      You are right.  I know for myself, it was the tremendous love and support from my friends and family that made even the tough times bearable.  

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    One of my friends has suffered a lot because of this and right now she is recovering. And care is the only thing that we can share with them and keep them motivated…

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Thanks for adding to the discussion. I hope your friend recovers with grace and style. Your friend will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Lisa

      You are right.  I know for myself, it was the tremendous love and support from my friends and family that made even the tough times bearable.  

  • Pingback: Be happy. « Haven't We Done This Before?

  • http://nickhuhn.com nickhuhn

    I think we’re all fully “aware” of breast cancer, so I’m not doing ANYTHING to support the cause.  So that you know I’m not being insensitive: breast cancer has had a direct impact on my family. What I choose to do, however, is to support genuine cancer research and treatments by donating directly to organizations that perform these activities. Moreover, breast cancer, while devastating, is highly treatable and highly survivable so I choose to support the massively under-funded areas if cancer research that are largely ignored yet kill more people by an order of magnitude.

    I’m disappointed that some people think that buying pink socks and other related detritus of clever marketers actually has anything to do with treating or curing any disease.  If cures are what we seek, then fund the *research and treatment* and not ‘awareness’.

    • Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan

      You won’t find pink socks on CancerBeGlammed. Take a look at the site. It’s really dedicated to helping women maintain control over their appearance when a devastating disease takes a lot of that control away from them. Numerous studies have shown that taking time to nurture your appearance has a positive impact on your self-perception and can help people manage the negative effects of treatment. This isn’t about pink socks. It’s not about vanity. It’s about empowerment, self-confidence and nurturing positive feelings.

      • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

        Elizabeth – Thanks for your fantastic comments about Cancer Be Glammed. The products they provide are so important to help those undergoing cancer treatment maintain a positive body image and a sense of dignity. I never would have considered what type of apparel you would need while going through treatment before I spoke with Lisa. It was a huge eye opener to me when I realized the changes a person goes through and how important these products are. Thanks so much for sharing.

      • http://nickhuhn.com nickhuhn

        That’s all well and good and the efforts to make breast cancer survivors more confident and in control are to be applauded.  I’d feel better about the organization, however, if it would donate at least _some_ proceeds to the ACS or similar group that helps the root causes of prevention and cure. Based on a quick glance at their website they do not support any research or treatment efforts currently, so it comes off as unabashed ‘pinkwashing’ no matter how good the intentions of the founders may be.

        Would it be ok for me to set up a for-profit clothing store for dismembered veterans  without contributing something back to the USO, for example? Seems ethically questionable at minimum.Maybe I’m hung up on the semantics of the copy above, but “awareness” for breast cancer issues has already been established (read: beaten to death).  I’m 100% behind Lisa’s efforts as an entrepreneur, but I remain uncomfortable with the for-profit approach. 

        • Lisa

          Nick, glad you brought up the issue of giving back.  We feel strongly about it too.  At Cancer Be Glammed we have a charitable giveback program called, Give A Glam! Through Give A Glam!  a percentage of our profits benefits charitable organizations that have similar goals to ours.  Our first giveback partner is Gilda’s Club of Western Pennsylvania.  We chose Gilda’s because they provide social, emotional, and non-medical support to cancer patients and their families for free. In addition on our website, we feature ways people can give back like volunteering for Dr. Susan Love’s Army of Women or supporting the American Cancer Society’s “More Birthdays” initiative. Please take a closer look.

          • http://nickhuhn.com nickhuhn

            Excellent – great to hear! Rather than risk getting lambasted unnecessarily again, I’d highly recommend communicating your affiliations and “give back” motivations on your Home and About pages rather than suggesting someone ‘take a closer look’.  Idiots like me rarely do. (i.e. “Give a Glam!” – the area of your site where I finally found related content – means absolutely nothing to anyone besides presumably your web designer.) 

            If you’re doing good that scales beyond your own pockets, by all means: SCREAM it from the rooftops and make sure to include the do-gooder aspect to anyone covering your company. My .02; best of luck in your future endeavors.

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Nick – Thank you so much for pointing out this very important differentiator. I agree 100% that it is so important that we focus on research. A few years back there was a news story about how many “products” were placing pink ribbons on them to confuse consumers into thinking that part of the proceeds were being donated to fund breast cancer research. I think it is fantastic that we have so much awareness of breast cancer now, but shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that buying a piece of “pink” apparel will help to end the disease.

      That is actually why I chose to do a story on this particular website because it is focused on helping those who are going through cancer treatments rather than the hype that has been created around the color pink. :-)

      I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and helping to raise awareness for the reality of making a difference.

  • http://nickhuhn.com nickhuhn

    I think we’re all fully “aware” of breast cancer, so I’m not doing ANYTHING to support the cause.  So that you know I’m not being insensitive: breast cancer has had a direct impact on my family. What I choose to do, however, is to support genuine cancer research and treatments by donating directly to organizations that perform these activities. Moreover, breast cancer, while devastating, is highly treatable and highly survivable so I choose to support the massively under-funded areas if cancer research that are largely ignored yet kill more people by an order of magnitude.

    I’m disappointed that some people think that buying pink socks and other related detritus of clever marketers actually has anything to do with treating or curing any disease.  If cures are what we seek, then fund the *research and treatment* and not ‘awareness’.

    • Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan

      You won’t find pink socks on CancerBeGlammed. Take a look at the site. It’s really dedicated to helping women maintain control over their appearance when a devastating disease takes a lot of that control away from them. Numerous studies have shown that taking time to nurture your appearance has a positive impact on your self-perception and can help people manage the negative effects of treatment. This isn’t about pink socks. It’s not about vanity. It’s about empowerment, self-confidence and nurturing positive feelings.

      • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

        Elizabeth – Thanks for your fantastic comments about Cancer Be Glammed. The products they provide are so important to help those undergoing cancer treatment maintain a positive body image and a sense of dignity. I never would have considered what type of apparel you would need while going through treatment before I spoke with Lisa. It was a huge eye opener to me when I realized the changes a person goes through and how important these products are. Thanks so much for sharing.

      • http://nickhuhn.com nickhuhn

        That’s all well and good and the efforts to make breast cancer survivors more confident and in control are to be applauded.  I’d feel better about the organization, however, if it would donate at least _some_ proceeds to the ACS or similar group that helps the root causes of prevention and cure. Based on a quick glance at their website they do not support any research or treatment efforts currently, so it comes off as unabashed ‘pinkwashing’ no matter how good the intentions of the founders may be.

        Would it be ok for me to set up a for-profit clothing store for dismembered veterans  without contributing something back to the USO, for example? Seems ethically questionable at minimum.Maybe I’m hung up on the semantics of the copy above, but “awareness” for breast cancer issues has already been established (read: beaten to death).  I’m 100% behind Lisa’s efforts as an entrepreneur, but I remain uncomfortable with the for-profit approach. 

        • Lisa

          Nick, glad you brought up the issue of giving back.  We feel strongly about it too.  At Cancer Be Glammed we have a charitable giveback program called, Give A Glam! Through Give A Glam!  a percentage of our profits benefits charitable organizations that have similar goals to ours.  Our first giveback partner is Gilda’s Club of Western Pennsylvania.  We chose Gilda’s because they provide social, emotional, and non-medical support to cancer patients and their families for free. In addition on our website, we feature ways people can give back like volunteering for Dr. Susan Love’s Army of Women or supporting the American Cancer Society’s “More Birthdays” initiative. Please take a closer look.

          • http://nickhuhn.com nickhuhn

            Excellent – great to hear! Rather than risk getting lambasted unnecessarily again, I’d highly recommend communicating your affiliations and “give back” motivations on your Home and About pages rather than suggesting someone ‘take a closer look’.  Idiots like me rarely do. (i.e. “Give a Glam!” – the area of your site where I finally found related content – means absolutely nothing to anyone besides presumably your web designer.) 

            If you’re doing good that scales beyond your own pockets, by all means: SCREAM it from the rooftops and make sure to include the do-gooder aspect to anyone covering your company. My .02; best of luck in your future endeavors.

    • http://twitter.com/Nichole_Kelly Nichole Kelly

      Nick – Thank you so much for pointing out this very important differentiator. I agree 100% that it is so important that we focus on research. A few years back there was a news story about how many “products” were placing pink ribbons on them to confuse consumers into thinking that part of the proceeds were being donated to fund breast cancer research. I think it is fantastic that we have so much awareness of breast cancer now, but shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that buying a piece of “pink” apparel will help to end the disease.

      That is actually why I chose to do a story on this particular website because it is focused on helping those who are going through cancer treatments rather than the hype that has been created around the color pink. :-)

      I really appreciate you taking the time to comment and helping to raise awareness for the reality of making a difference.

  • http://twitter.com/netSpray netSpray

    Thanks for sharing this post and spreading awareness – I just went and followed Cancer Be Glammed on Twitter it’s great to see that these women are taking a hard situation they went through and making it a little more positive for others. Keep be stylish ladies :)

    -ITS_Mktg

  • http://twitter.com/netSpray netSpray

    Thanks for sharing this post and spreading awareness – I just went and followed Cancer Be Glammed on Twitter it’s great to see that these women are taking a hard situation they went through and making it a little more positive for others. Keep be stylish ladies :)

  • Lisa

    Nichole,
    Thank you for spreading the word (digitally) about Cancer be Glammed. As you know, it is a labor of love for Ellen and I.  The more we can get the word out, the better we can achieve our goal of helping other women battle the side effects of cancer treatment.
     
    Ellen and I are new comers to the world of social media, having worked in businesses in a traditional PR capacity (OK-we are aging ourselves here!)  and are completely amazed by the scale and scope of social media. Thanks for expanding our reach. 

  • Lisa

    Nichole,
    Thank you for spreading the word (digitally) about Cancer be Glammed. As you know, it is a labor of love for Ellen and I.  The more we can get the word out, the better we can achieve our goal of helping other women battle the side effects of cancer treatment.
     
    Ellen and I are new comers to the world of social media, having worked in businesses in a traditional PR capacity (OK-we are aging ourselves here!)  and are completely amazed by the scale and scope of social media. Thanks for expanding our reach. 

  • http://jennaj452.wordpress.com/ Jenna Wendell

    Sometimes the little things can make the biggest difference. I think
    it’s great how Cancer be Glammed creates products that help make women
    cope with the physical strains of cancer treatments. I know fighting
    cancer is a day-to-day battle, but it’s awesome how Cancer be Glammed
    gives women an upper hand and provides them with an opportunity to enter
    the battles feeling confident.

  • http://jennaj452.wordpress.com/ Jenna Wendell

    Sometimes the little things can make the biggest difference. I think
    it’s great how Cancer be Glammed creates products that help make women
    cope with the physical strains of cancer treatments. I know fighting
    cancer is a day-to-day battle, but it’s awesome how Cancer be Glammed
    gives women an upper hand and provides them with an opportunity to enter
    the battles feeling confident.

  • http://www.i95dev.com Henry Louis

    Hi Kelly! Thanks for sharing this post and spreading awareness. Good informative post.

  • http://www.i95dev.com Henry Louis

    Hi Kelly! Thanks for sharing this post and spreading awareness. Good informative post.

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