Marian, Maggie and Jo who feature in Lonely’s special Lonely Girls Project. Image by Harry Were.
New Zealand has a high rate of breast cancer that has been well-documented over the years although what’s less often mentioned is that one woman is diagnosed in NZ every day who is under the free breast screening age of 45. It’s an issue that Lonely want to spread awareness about from the age of 20 and this month all visitors to Lonely stores will receive a breast care card designed by local artist Ophelia Mikkelson, which details what changes to look out for and how to conduct a self-exam. The card will also be distributed with online purchases and is beautifully designed in the hope that women collect it and keep it to refer to.
Lonely have also utilised Mikkelson’s lovely drawing for a limited edition t-shirt that is available for pre-order at Lonely stores or online for $110, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ. Throughout October Lonely will also have in-store appearances by registered nurses from the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ for anyone that has questions about breast health and awareness, details will be posted on Lonely’s social media during the month. Lonely aim to mobilise their female customer database and give them the awareness and the tools needed for early detection.
Photographer, Harry Were, has also collaborated with the brand on a very special Lonely Girls Project that features three women Marian, Maggie and Jo who live with secondary, incurable breast cancer, in association with Sweet Louise. Through Were’s compelling images the viewer can see the strength and beauty of these three women in a shoot which embraces their bodies and gives them visibility in a world that may find it easier to not see them.
“We want to shine a light on these amazing women who are living with incurable cancer, both to show that we ‘see’ them; we won’t let society render them invisible, and also by way of engaging people in a message that is vitally important to us; early detection is still the only cure for breast cancer. We urge all women to be aware of their breasts from the age of 20, self-checking regularly and visiting their doctor with any concerns. Like many others, breast cancer is something that has personally impacted the Lonely family and is an issue we care deeply about. Awareness and education are critical,” says Lonely founder, Helene Morris.
“I thought I would be self-conscious and embarrassed on the day but not at all. I loved the day and I love the lingerie, the sets make me feel special when I wear them. It is fantastic to have such beautiful pieces that actually fit a larger frame, and an older one!” says Maggie. “It is coming up 10 years now since I was diagnosed, and I think about it every day. The day my husband and I were told at best I had a 10% chance of survival was an absolute nightmare. I was and am not ready to give up on that 10%. My family means the world to me and I have not yet seen enough of what my two fantastic children will achieve in their lives to stop watching. There is too much to do yet, but as I have got older I think it is important to take some time in the week to do something you enjoy without feeling guilty, even if this is only reading a book for 20 minutes, just learn to appreciate what you have.”
Text GIVE to 2447 donate $3 to Sweet Louise.
Lonely x Ophelia tee.