Monday, October 28, 2014–This year marks 20 years of Ford Motor Company fighting against breast cancer. The company’s journey began when it became one of the first corporate sponsors of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Ford branded its initiative Warriors in Pink® and developed a full line of clothing and gear that donates 100 percent of the net proceeds to four breast cancer charities. Thus far, Ford has dedicated more than $125 million to the cause.
Involvement for Ford extends far beyond just financial support for research. The Warriors in Pink® initiative encourages women to have continuing and honest conversations that keep them proactive about breast health and early detection.
In the Middle East,Ford has been able to shine a spotlight on survivors through its Models of Courage program since 2011, shedding light on a number of survivors who openly share their experiences in the fight againstbreast cancer. And this year, the program continues to highlightstories of local breast cancer survivors especially in Lebanonand promotes the importance of early detection in the battle against the disease.
“Through Warriors in Pink, Ford continues to be a unifying force in driving awareness for breast cancer,” said Sue Nigoghossian, Ford Middle East’s Brand Communications and Public Affairs manager. “This year is especially meaningful to us as we mark the20th anniversary globally and 4th edition in the Middle East while recognizing the strength and courage of all the survivors who have shared their stories throughout their journey.”
“Models of courage”: Five survivors –Five stories of hope.
MirnaHobballah, Rania Alameddine, Nada Aoun, AlineIstamboulian, and RivanaKoteichtook part in a day’s photo-shoot to model the 2014 collection of Ford Warriors in Pink®in Lebanon. In addition to modeling the latest apparel and accessories from the 20th Anniversary collection, the women also shared their personal stories and encouraging messages for those battling the disease.
MirnaHoballah was diagnosed with breast cancer at 42 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Vice-President of the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation, she believes she overcame the disease thanks to her courage and the great love she received from everybody, as she did not want to leave her family.
Rania Alameddine speaks of her journey with breast cancer and chemotherapy openly and with great courage. The 51-year-old housewife became ill with breast cancer in 2008, but was only diagnosed in 2009 due to a medical negligence of a hospital. She says: “The support and love I received from my family and society made me even more determined to overcome this illness”.
As far as fighters go, Nada Aoun is definitely one of them. Nada sums up her 8 year battle with breast cancer saying, “If one has faith, one fears absolutely nothing.” Although it saddens her that she did not have any children, Nada has faith and patience that one day she will recover from this ordeal, thanks to her courage and strength.
AlineIstamboulian, a 37-year-old employee and mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago drew her strength from her family: “One day when my hair started falling off, I decided to completely shave it off and so did my husband and little boy in solidarity, so that none of us would feel any different from the other.”Today, she has fully recovered and is living a normal lifeand has learnt to be more attached to life than ever before.
“To all the women out there I say: breasts do not define your femininity; I felt ultimately feminine when I removed my own” says RivanaKoteich. The 38-year-old mother took a decision against her doctors’ who insisted she did not need to undergo a preventative double mastectomy. This turning point move saved her life, and she is recovering today.
In a region where a worryingly high number of breast cancer sufferers are diagnosedin the late stages of the disease and the illness often remains taboo, Ford Middle East hopes that each of these women’s stories and their advice will act as a catalyst to encourage others to talk about their own experiences and inspire more people to get regular checkups.
Since 2006, Warriors in Pink has offered a line of apparel and accessories, and 100 percent of the net proceeds from the sale of these items benefit Warriors in Pink’s four charities partners: The Pink Fund, Susan G. Komen, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and Young Survival Coalition. Join the fight and support breast cancer at check out when you shop fordcares.com.
Ford Warriors in Pink goal is to keep the topic of breast cancer part of everyday conversation and encourage women and men to engage in self-exams. Greater awareness can lead to earlier diagnosis, which in turn, could save lives. Ford is committed to the cause and has dedicated more than $120 million to date.