Two years ago I had the opportunity to be involved with Art Bra KC and had an insiders look at all the work, creativity and celebration that goes into their annual fundraiser Art Bra. Local survivors model incredibly artistic bras that are auctioned off to raise money for underinsured women battling breast cancer right here in Kanas City.
Adrienne Helvey, pictured above, was a co-chair that year. Adrienne (a mom of two cute boys) had previously been a model, but was so impressed with the organizations mission of helping other women that she has stayed involved with the organization ever since.
At the end of the event, a beautiful smiling, healthy looking Adrienne got up to address the crowd and to talk about what it might be like to go through breast cancer without emotional and financial support. Can you imagine battling cancer without the means to get yourself to treatment, or no prospect of a wig or prosthetic following surgery? When she was done talking she surprised us all by removing her wig and stood silently in front of 500 people bald to emphasize her points. She was a survivor. Her small gesture was profoundly moving to everyone in the room, but especially my family.
Because that following Monday we received the news that my mother-in-law had breast cancer. During this time and many times during the eight months that followed, my father-in-law would call me and talk about Adrienne and our special night at Art Bra. How he just couldn't get her out of his head, this beautiful woman up on the stage that night. Her strength and bravery gave him hope.
What I love about this photo (by Tom Styrkowicz) is Adrienne's serene acceptance of herself. Her scars are part of her journey but they don’t define her. Her beauty comes from within- from her gratitude and her sincere hope to help other women. She happily shares her journey if it will help just one other woman feel less alone. Truly a Fifth House kind of gal!
I feel very fortunate to know Adrienne and to be a part of Art Bra. The way they celebrate women's strength as a way to help other women is inspiring. They recently helped open an appearance center at Truman Hospital and are out in this community with grassroots efforts educating and supporting women like us.
Please join us next Wednesday, October 22, for a special evening of shopping to benefit Art Bra here at Fifth House. 5:30-8:00PM
For more information or to get involved go to http://www.artbrakc.com
Photo credit to Tom Styrkowicz- www.53tom.com.