February 9th, 2019: Gemma Styles, sister of Harry Styles, shared a post on Instagram this week in support of GirlvsCancer, a brand of t-shirts designed by cancer survivor Lauren Mahon the sale of which goes to support four cancer charities. In the Instagram post, Gemma is wearing a special edition t-shirt with the logo “Keep your cool” which was designed in dedication to the late Rachel Bland, a journalist and a presenter with BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC North West Tonight, and to the crew at Paxman Scalp Cooling, who helped Rachael keep her hair during treatment. Indeed, Paxman Scalp Cooling has engineered a cooling cap that can be worn by patients undergoing chemotherapy to prevent hair loss.
The founder of GirlvsCancer Lauren Mahon was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 31. While the diagnosis was obviously a shock to Lauren, she maintained her positive attitude and got to work. At one point during treatment, Lauren could no longer attend to her job, so as a mean to support herself and to bring attention to breast cancer in younger women, she started to design t-shirts that she named TIT-TEES. The t-shirts are an ironic twist to breast cancer with eggs, hearts, bananas, and melons designed on the breasts or with uplifting logos such as “Fierce as fuck” and “Hope is dope”. To launch her collection Lauren reached out to influencers including Gemma Styles who participated in the launching photoshoot (see pictures below).
Lauren is selling her TIT-TEES and donating the proceeds to four cancer charities that are particularly geared to supporting young people diagnosed with cancer. Indeed, during treatment, she realized that there was little support for young women diagnosed with breast cancer. While support seems to be in place for older women diagnosed with the disease, it is not there for women in their 20s and 30s. The charities that Lauren supports with the sale of her TIT-TEES are:
Coppa Feel: this charity was founded by Kris Hallenga who was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer at age 23. Kris with her charity is encouraging self-exam in all women but in particular in young women. She brings her message and tutorials to schools, colleges, festivals and at other gatherings where young women are prominent, and of course online.
Trekstock: is a cancer charity specifically geared to support young adults with cancer. They work to provide practical support in modalities that are more light-hearted and understood by younger people. For example, they use social media like Facebook and gatherings/events to help people get back into the dating scene after a cancer diagnosis. They also help young people with cancer get back into exercising in a safe way. (Read here our article about Trekstock)
Future Dreams: this charity was founded by mother and daughter Sylvie and Danielle. They were both diagnosed with breast cancer when they were quite young and were both able to get better and healthy again. Unfortunately, breast cancer came back for Sylvie in 2008 and for Danielle in 2009. This is when the two women decided to found Future Dreams first for Danielle’s daughter Amy and then for all the women facing this disease so nobody would have to ever go through breast cancer alone. Sylvie and Danielle passed away 1 year apart in 2009 and 2010. Their charity continues on, though, and has raised since its inception more than 4.5 million for breast cancer support, awareness, and research.
Look Good Feel Better: this is the only international charity of this kind which provides beauty support to women with cancer. With their tutorials, makeup donated by companies like Chanel, Clinique, bareMinerals, and Revlon, and volunteers from the makeup industry this charity helps women with cancer feel beautiful again.
The TIT-TEES are really an expression of Lauren’s personality, they are beautiful and funny and are a powerful way to bring attention to breast cancer. The proceeds from their sale go to support charities that are doing amazing work to support young people with cancer and in particular breast cancer. To view all the designs available and purchase one for you, perhaps in support of someone you know with breast cancer, visit the shop at this link.
Pictures are shared from GirlvsCancer website and Gemma Styles Instagram.