Breast Cancer Warriors


The Lynn Sage Foundation

Sisters Laura and Halee Sage founded The Lynn Sage Foundation in 2003 to honor their mother, who passed away from breast cancer. “Our father and some of our mom’s friends began raising funds for various breast cancer causes, but about 10 years ago the family chose to break away from the original organization (Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation) and start The Lynn Sage Foundation to focus exclusively on breast cancer research,” explains Laura Sage.

“In Good Taste is our signature campaign in October,” shares Halee Sage. “We partner with over 150 local establishments (restaurants, bars, salons) that let patrons donate or purchase a special item with proceeds designated to the foundation.” Then there’s Cards for a Cure, “ a year-round, online initiative that allows donors to send an eCard for any occasion when they donate to The Lynn Sage Foundation. Specifically around Mother’s Day, this campaign is very popular.”

Finally, the organization funds Lynn Sage Scholars in partnership with the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. “We’re funding our fourth Lynn Sage Scholar, Dr. Sarika Jain,” says Laura Sage. “She’s a brilliant young woman/role model working on novel research that uses the immune system as an alternative treatment for breast cancer. We’ve pledged to provide her with $100,000 a year for the next two years.”



Avner-4310For Lindsay Avner, bright pink is more than just a color – it’s a way of life. She had lost her grandmother and great-grandmother to breast cancer and watched her mother battle breast and ovarian cancer. At 22, she tested positive for the BRCA 1 gene, indicating she had an 87 percent chance of risk of developing breast cancer. Ms. Avner decided to take action. Dramatic action. At 23, she became the youngest patient in the country to opt for a risk-reducing double mastectomy with reconstruction.

Wanting to ensure other young women navigating their families’ cancer history they weren’t alone, she left her job in brand management at Unilever and launched Bright Pink in 2007. Now 31, Ms. Avner oversees a national organization doing tremendous work, calling women to action to learn everything they can about early detection/prevention of breast and ovarian cancer and raise money for the cause. “On Saturday, October 12, The Dailey Method locations nationwide host donation days for Bright Pink,” says Ms. Avner of one of the organization’s many fundraising events. “The next day, 109 marathon runners participate in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with Team Bright Pink to raise over $125,000 to fuel the cause. And Key to the Cure takes place October 17-20 at Saks Fifth Avenue on Michigan Avenue, who’s donating a portion of all sales to Bright Pink.”
Hair by April Telman & Makeup by Sabrina Danyla @ Agnes O. Hair Design


The Barbara Bates Foundation

Fashion designer Barbara Bates founded the Barbara Bates Foundation in 1999. The initial goal was to donate prom dresses and formal wear to inner-city high school students who excel despite difficult circumstances. After Ms. Bates was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, the organization also started supporting breast cancer awareness/education with 2012’s Knocking Out Breast Cancer Fashion Show.

This year’s show is co-hosted by Sinbad and Robin Robinson. “All 50 models are fellow survivors, wearing Fall 2013 fashions,” explains Ms. Bates, a four-year breast cancer survivor. “I’ve also asked past interns to show their collections. Money raised goes to Mount Sinai Hospital’s Helping Her Live program, where navigators go into the community, knock on doors and urge women to get mammograms. Early detection is key. I wasn’t educated and wasn’t getting mammograms – and I’ll continue to do the right things for the right reasons.”



Tickled Pink

Fyfe-4809After losing her cousin, Carrie Kenney, to breast cancer at the tragically young age of 35, Paramount Events Partner Jodi Fyfe was determined to keep her cousin’s fun-loving spirit alive. In February 2005, Tickled Pink, the non-profit she founded, hosted its first event and nine years later has grown to raise more than $1,000,000.

“For the second year, Tickled Pink will benefit Bright Pink, a non-profit focusing on the prevention/early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women,” shares Ms. Fyfe. “Thanks to our generous sponsors, Tickled Pink is one of the only charity events able to donate 100 percent of proceeds. And the Tickled Pink Tailgate kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month to benefit Bright Pink and raise awareness for breast and ovarian cancer.” Each month thereafter, additional events will benefit Bright Pink and promote Tickled Pink 2014, which takes place Friday, February 28, at River East Art Center


About Carrie Williams

Carrie Williams is TCW's managing/digital editor. She manages day-to-day editorial operations of the monthly print publication, website and social media outlets, contributes to a variety of feature articles and directs a team of interns, freelance writers and bloggers. In early 2013, she led the redesign of of TCW's brand strategy. Her blog, "Carrie On," is a blog of reflection and discovery, discussing how to push through life when you’re handed one too many curveballs. And finally, Ms. Williams is also executive director of the TCW Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit supporting underfunded women's and children's organizations.