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Breast of Canada Promoting
Women's Health

Here is what people have told us about
the Breast of Canada Calendar

Hi Sue

I first became aware and impressed with what you are doing about three years ago when a friend brought your annual photography contest to my attention.

Today I am taking a perioperative nursing course and have been given the challenge of presenting a relevant topic to others also taking the online course. I have chosen to do a presentation on body image because it is something that is going to be given low priority in a hurried operating room setting. I have only 10 minutes to feature individuals and support groups that I feel represent outstanding contributions. I thought you might appreciate knowing I will be mentioning you.

You are a community champion. I am impressed with what you are doing and your dogged determination to continue in spite of the disappointments and mixed reception to your project. I am surprised that there is any controversy about the human body in these times, especially when presented with such a powerful message that should touch everyone. We all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer.

All the best to you.

Janet ~ RN

Hello Sue

I just wanted to let you know what we have been busy with in Swift Current SK. You inspired a group of ladies.

Thankyou for your fundraising efforts. My name is Corla Rokochy and I am a photographer from Swift Current, Saskatchewan Canada. We are having an exhibit of portraitss of breast cancer survivors and those who have had family members with breast cancer. We are looking for words of inspiration to read during the evening to inspire all those in attendance. If you would be able to share a few words we would greatly appreciate that. We will be auctioning off bras and sharing an evening together.

Thank you for your time
Corla Rokochy
Here is a link to the exhibit photographs http://www.photographybycorla.com/brazart.htm

Fabulous concept...as a woman, and a nurse, it is great to see breasts displayed as a part of the body that is beautiful and functional. How perfectly we are made...different, all, and survivors of all battles.
Sarah from Massachusetts.

I'm really enjoying the calendar and talking to people about the issue. My grandmother had breast cancer and your calendar/vision has given me better hope and tools to deal with this issue. Thank you so much!
Demetra, Greece

I received Breast of Canada 2004 yesterday and I am very pleased with you and your groups' efforts this year. Your work is beautiful, as usual. I am VERY pleased with September (Does wearing a bra have anything to do with breast cancer?). I am SO excited to see that message getting out to others. Now I know that we can count your subscribers as another segment of our world's women (and men) that have received this most important message.

It excites me to see your statement regarding "the issue deserves at least one peer reviewed study." That parallels my deepest wish. We are indeed working in the same direction. I hope that you will continue to carry that idea through the years to come, until we actually do see this concept receive its overdue attention.
Ken, Pleasanton, California

My five year old daughter, Dezi, was with me when the package arrived in the mail. We enjoyed looking at the pictures together and had a great discussion about women's rights, the beauty of breasts, and the general attitudes of society. It even inspired a discussion about why some people might be afraid of breasts, and how important it is
to live a life based not in fear, but in love. I plan on showing my friends this calender, so I'm sure that it will be the catalyst for many future discussions as well.

You folks have created a fine piece of art, and you should be proud of your contribution to the world!

Sending my thanks,
Peri, Northern California

I just flipped the page to my March 2003 calendar. I just want to congratulate you on such a wonderful idea and project - The Canadian Breast Calendar.

Every year I buy calendars for two of my siblings (and their spouses) that live in Europe. They miss Canada - one lives in Berlin, Germany, the other in Geneva, Switzerland. They look forward to their calendars of Canadian content every year. It was my Mom that always used to send them to them. She passed away with cancer (stomach cancer) in June 2001. So I took up the custom of sending my sibs the calendars since I knew they would miss receiving them from Mom.

This year I sent them the Canadian Breast Calendar. And, more importantly, I bought one for myself. Mom use to buy my calendar every year too and I have a frame that she bought me that my calendars slipped into.

The Canadian Breast Calendar fits perfectly in the frame, inspires conversation in our 'oft entertainment area kitchen' and I look forward to next years calendar as a new tradition for my family.

Thanks again for your inspiration, carry through, and great foresight. It is truly a tasteful and inspiring calendar and benefits such a good cause.

Kathleen
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

I bought your calendar last month and am delighted with it. The explanation of self-exam is excellent and by far the most "user-friendly" I have seen. You have presented it in a way that encourages nurturing and does not instil fear. The photographs in the calendar are lovely and a welcome antidote to the other "pin-up"calendars on the newsstands this time of year.

It was the phrase "Take Back the Breast" on the back of your calendar that convinced me to buy it, because those words exactly describe the spirit of the work I am doing as well. I am a massage therapist and have been studying breast massage this past year and am now offering it in my practice. It is a very effective way of relieving the congestion and tenderness that women often experience premenstrually or perimenopausally. It is a way for women to experience their breasts in a safe and nurturing environment, so that they get to know their breasts, not as fashion statements, sexual objects, or ticking time bombs, but as real flesh-and-blood parts of themselves.

Care is taken on the part of the massage therapist to be respectful and non-invasive. Breast massage includes work on all the underlying and surrounding structures: - the muscles of the chest and rib cage, the upper back, arms, neck, head, and abdomen. This way the breasts are integrated with the surrounding and supporting areas of the body. Through breast massage, women become familiar with their breasts and their changes. They are more likely to touch them and monitor them for changes in a way that is more comfortable, less frightening, less objectifying than what self-exam is now for many women.

Breast massage is also tremendously helpful for women who have had surgery, to relieve tenderness associated with scarring and to aid a woman in getting to know her body in a new way.

I read with great interest your recent piece in the Globe and Mail and was moved by the process you have had to go through to make this dream a reality. You are an inspiration. I have just been reading through your website this morning and am as inspired by what you have created there as I was by your calendar.

I would be very interested to know, did you coin the phrase "Take Back the Breast", or does it come from a wider movement that is already out there? I would love to communicate with you further about all this, whether by email or even in person one day.

With much gratitude for the work you are doing and very best wishes for 2003!
Susan

I'm so please to see a photo of a breastfeeding mother and baby in your 2003 calendar. As an avid supporter of breastfeeding, I tell everyone I can what a difference breastfeeding makes in decreasing cancers in all populations, whether it is women who breastfeed/have breastfed, children who are breastfeeding/have breastfed and adults who breastfed as youngsters. Normalizing breasts helps to make breastfeeding a more acceptable thing for women to do, and not just for the health of it.

Thank you for the work you do. Whether in big ways or small, your efforts are helping to save lives.
Louise

I finally had a chance to go to Polo Park Shopping Mall to check for your calendar. Hooray! I was able to find three at the Calendar Club kiosk. There was also one copy left at Mondragon. I know that my friends will be thrilled with their gifts and I bought one for myself as well.

I have three children, two boys ages seven and three, and now a baby daughter age six months. Since the birth of my daughter, I have spent many hours (breastfeeding in the middle of the night) thinking about all the positive role modelling that I can surround my children with, specifically in regard to women. Your calendar is one way in which my family will see women as beautiful, without being objectified.

In short, the calendar has inspired me to pursue some old interests, all rather timely given that today is the 13th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. Thank you for such a beautiful calendar, you can count me in for next year!

In support of breast health.

Just wanted to let you know that Sue's article in Facts & Arguments, Dec. 4 Globe and Mail has motivated me to visit your website and I will be going to Markville Mall today to buy several calendars for my family and friends. I have noticed other write ups about Breast of Canada before but it was this article that captured my attention. I think it was the story of Sue's experience of taking the calendar concept to where it is today.

In one way, I envy her but in another I truly applaud her and will support her efforts in the years to come. Why the envy? I have struggled with a small business which now is finally coming together but it isn't going to make the same impact or contribution to the quality of life for so many Canadian women and their families.
All the best
Helen

from Chester, NS

As the aging father of a teenage daughter I have become even more aware than I was of how one's body and looks can influence life outcomes.
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from a Canadian that lived in Germany

I am a Canadian who spent most of my formative adult years living in Germany and have recently returned. I am shocked and saddened at how we view the female body in this country. 

If women's bodies in this country are EVER going to stop being sexualized, then we need to see pictures like those in this calendar everywhere, pictures of normal women's bodies in positive, nonsexual poses. We need to teach our children that bodies are beautiful and natural.
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from Guelph, ON

While I view Sue Richard's efforts in a mostly positive light, it is most often the pioneer and the small entrepreneur that must go forward (and lose) in order for a cause to be proven successful -- usually by some larger business who has stood by and seen you take the risk and has learned (at no cost) from your mistakes.

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from Vancouver, BC

Yesterday I read the article in The Toronto Star, "Topless calendar fails to pass charity test", and was moved to contact you immediately.  First of all, congratulations on this project.  I too believe that it we are way late on the whole body acceptance issue - men and women both and the time to start seeing ourselves as flesh and bones, heart and soul has come.  I hope that the Breast Cancer Foundation's response to your work has not discouraged you from attempting to sell your calendar in local stores.

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from Ancaster, ON 

The refusal of the Breast Cancer Foundation to promote the calendar "Breast of Canada" was a displeasing decision. The calendar is a fine educational tool and could help save lives.

I bought many copies of this calendar. It is attractive, witty, and informative. It celebrates not just breasts but women, and not just women but life. Those repudiating it are missing an important and splendid achievement.

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Send your comments to info@breastofcanada.com


Contact Sue Richards at info@breastofcanada.com

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