October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year, Stella & Dot is proud to partner with the Noreen Fraser Foundation (NFF). All net proceeds from Stella & Dot’s Breast Cancer Awareness Collection will benefit the NFF during the month. Noreen is one of the strongest women we know and we’re proud to support her mission.
Noreen Fraser was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in 2001. After years of fighting, Noreen pledged to devote herself to raising money for focused research to find new techniques to prevent and fight cancer. She started the Noreen Fraser Foundation in 2006 and recruited other survivors and prominent figures in the medical, entertainment, and business industries to join the organization. In 2008, Noreen Fraser co-created and co-produced the network television special ‘STAND UP TO CANCER’ which raised over $100 million for cancer research.
Prior to starting the Noreen Fraser Foundation, Noreen produced other award winning television shows including, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, ABC’s HOME SHOW and The RICHARD SIMMONS SHOW. Recently, Noreen has started working on producing a documentary about cancer’s effects and developing a television project that will serve to raise awareness for women’s cancers.
We sat down with Noreen to learn more about her story and partnership with Stella & Dot:
Tell us about the Noreen Fraser Foundation
As with most women who hear the words, "you’ve got cancer", what goes through your mind first is that you are going to die. Even when the doctor says, "you're lucky we caught it early", you don't even hear him. It's a very surreal out of body experience. At the time, my children were 8 and 10. After putting them to bed that night, I decided I must be here to raise these beautiful children, and therefore, I refuse to die. I went to the internet and studied breast cancer backwards and forwards and most importantly, why we were not even close to a cure after all these years of donating money to the top breast cancer organizations. That moment changed my life. I had figured out what needed to be done to keep myself, and all the women yet to be diagnosed…alive. Most importantly, my daughter. I would leave this planet in a better place, with more hope and more options for those who get a cancer diagnosis.
What makes Stella & Dot the perfect partner for you?
Stella & Dot is the perfect partner for us for reasons you may not have thought of. What Jessica Herrin has created for women is hope and control. Two things that victims of cancer need to find for themselves. So much pressure is lifted if a woman can work from home and be with her children, and at the same time contribute to the finances of the household. When you can contribute to the family finances you have more control over your world. When you love your job and believe in the worth and beauty of this jewelry, you create hope and expectation. I truly was surprised when I first looked at the jewelry. It was beyond beautiful. If I wasn’t spending all my time on this Foundation, I would sell Stella & Dot!
The Hope Bracelet was named by you – what inspired the name?
Growing up, my mom had this catch phrase that she used often. "….where there's life, there's hope". My hope for all women with cancer is that they can keep their hope alive. There are new non-toxic therapies in the pipeline that we will be seeing in the next 2 years. Science had made huge leaps and we women will be the beneficiaries!
What is your advice to other women on staying positive , happy while going through cancer treatment?
It is impossible to stay happy and positive while going through treatment. If anyone tells you that, they are being insincere. Feeling what you’re feeling is what will get you through this. Crying is healing. Get it out. Get real….this sucks. Surround yourself with the love of your family and friends. Watch a funny movie every day – LAUGHTER HEALS! I promise you this. Find the "Funny or Die" website and watch one of their hilarious videos. Will Ferrell started this website – need I say more?
What is your one piece of advice to women everywhere to share with their girlfriends about Breast Cancer Awareness?
Prevention means early detection. Although mammograms are not recommended until your 40's, self breast exams are a must from college and on. We are still working hard to find some way we can test for Ovarian cancer. At this time there is no early detection option for these women and it makes me so sad. We have to do better.
Shop for a cause this October & 100% of net proceeds from our Breast Cancer Awareness Collection will benefit the Noreen Fraser Foundation