October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means it’s time to support local companies which are coming together to help raise vital funds to support people and their families impacted by breast cancer
Recent figures show that one in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some stage in their life. In total 3,704 people are diagnosed every year in Ireland. One way to reach out to those with cancer is to send them a special gift box to cheer and pamper them through the tough times.
The Thoughtful Shopper lets you sponsor a box – or raise funds through your book club, staff room, office, café or sports team – and a woman facing this lonely battle will know the kindness of strangers. “It’s about solidarity,” says Agnes Maher of The Thoughtful Shopper, which has put together gift boxes called Indulgence Edit for Breast Cancer Ireland. “I set up this service after one of my friends developed breast cancer during lockdown. We couldn’t do the usual things like taking the kids for sleepovers or driving her for chemo, so we made up hampers for her instead. We filled with things that would bring her physical comfort in our absence – a cashmere blanket for when she got cold during her ice cap treatment, books, candles and non-toxic room diffusers. When she was at her lowest, mid-way through the treatment, we got a bespoke piece art made to make her laugh, silk pillowcases, and pyjamas to make her feel lovely in bed. Her last basket was of things to get her ready to face the world again after she was finished. Jewellery, all her nice creams and make ups and things that would give her confidence.”While making the hampers, Maher and her friends discovered producers and suppliers of small batch luxury products. The Indulgence Edit includes Jo Browne face serums, body oils and cleansing balm, Bean & Goose chocolate, Corrig Hill speciality coffee, a Millis soy candle, and a print from Niamh Gillespie Designs. For more information on this box (which can also be delivered to Breast Cancer Ireland for distribution) visit www.thethoughtfulshopper.ie
The Because We Care Giftbox, €75, created by Rhona Cullinan (author of Look Good Feel Better) is filled with a luxurious but affordable range of skincare, suitable for anyone with dry or mature skin and for conditions like eczema and rosacea. As these products are chemical free, they are also suitable for anyone undergoing cancer treatment to help the side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation. €3 from the sale of this giftbox goes to The Marie Keating Foundation; www.journeyskincareandbeauty.com
Woodtown Studio is offering a limited edition Pink Gift Box, €66 in aid of Breast Cancer Ireland from Woodtown Studio. Each box, which comes wrapped in pink, includes a complete set of artist Paula McGurdy’s Wonder Cards with uplifting affirmations, a hand-made ceramic candle holder by Naomi Good, some of Woodtown’s Bee Happy celebration candles. There’s also a special surprise inside; www.woodtownstudio.ie
Funds raised through its “Pink Patron” campaign will help the Marie Keating Foundation to continue to provide lifesaving information about breast cancer prevention, and support for those affected. Some of the participating companies include:
Harvey Norman: will be running a “Sleep Well with Change for Cancer” campaign throughout the month of October. To help support this campaign you can add a €1 donation instore across all departments and online at checkout or purchase. A percentage of sales from a selected range of stunning Harvey Norman products will also be donated to the Foundation; www.harveynorman.com
Ruzo Ireland: is selling its ribbon necklaces and donating ten per cent of the proceeds from the sale to the Marie Keating Foundation. Available in yellow, white and rose gold, these pretty pieces are available to purchase at www.ruzo.ie
DMK Clinics: will be donating ten per cent from sales from its specially designed PINKzyme treatment throughout October. DMK is the only company in the world that uses “transfer message enzymes” – living substances within the body that regulate health and to form natural antioxidants and fight free radicals which attack our skin. The enzyme therapy encourages collagen and elastin formation. Customers will also be given the opportunity to Tap and Donate towards the Foundation’s breast cancer services in some of their DMK certified clinics nationwide. To learn more about the treatment entails and for your nearest DMK certified clinic, contact @dmkireland_official on Instagram.
Pigsback.com: will be encouraging all of its customers to run, walk or jog 5K or 10K to help support the Marie Keating Foundation. All participants will receive a free Marie Keating Foundation/Pigsback.com t-shirt and will be able to log their run/walks time on a virtual leader board. To sign up visit www.pigsback.com
The Clean Beauty Edit: is hosting an online “Shop and Support Weekend” on the October 7 -10, during which €5 from every order made during this weekend will be donated to the foundation. There will also be free gifts and vouchers for lucky shoppers supporting the campaign that weekend. visit www.thecleanbeautyedit.com
MeToday.com: During October, ten per cent of every sale from the women’s daily skincare and supplement range, will be donated to the Marie Keating Foundation Based on a combination of science and tradition, the Me Today ethos revolves around people living their best lives and feeling good about themselves on the inside, as well as the outside. The range includes a mix of supplements to help consumers be on top of their game, naturally. The Me Today skincare is enriched with essential botanicals, antioxidants and vitamins blended specially to hydrate, protect and comfort your skin. The entire Me Today skincare range is vegan or vegetarian friendly, and contains no parabens, sls/sles or phthalates; www.MeToday.com
MAD Flowers: has created a pink bouquet of pretty pink roses, dainty button mums, hydrangea, poppies and gerberas complete with a cut glass vase. €3 will be donated to the Foundation from every bouquet sold for the month of October. As an extra incentive shoppers will receive €5 off the Pink Bouquet by using the code MK5 online at www.madflowers.com
The Grafton Barber: is donating €3 from its new Amplify shampoo and conditioner line to the Foundation. Customers will also be given the opportunity to “Tap and Donate” to the Foundation in any one of their 49 stores across the country; www.graftonbarbers.com
Bare by Vogue is donating €1 to Breast Cancer Ireland for every bottle of self-tan foam, which comes in three shades to suit most skin tones purchased on www.barebyvogue.com throughout the month of October. Bare by Vogue’s self-tan foam comes in three shades to suit all skin tones – Medium, Dark and Ultra Dark.
Remember breast cancer awareness is a priority; 3,700 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Ireland annually and 30 per cent of those diagnosed are between 20-50 years of age. Here are the eight warning signs to look out for:
• A puckering of the skin of the breast
• A lump in the breast or armpit
• A change in the skin around the nipple or nipple discharge
• Dimpling of the nipple or nipple retraction
• An unusual increase in the size of one breast
• One breast unusually lower than the other – nipples at different levels
• An enlargement of the glands
• An unusual swelling in the armpit