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New Calendar keeps abreast of cancer awareness

September 28, 2001, Guelph Tribune, Page 15
By Ned Bekavac

"Back in January I was having a conversation with my friend, and I realized I wasnıt practicing proper breast health," says Richards, creator of the slick Breast of Canada Calendar 2002, which got its inaugural lift-off this week as Breast Cancer Awareness month nears. "I found that disturbing. And I realized other friends were not doing (breast examinations) properly, or not doing them at all."

A day later, Richards was on the phone to local fine art photographer Melanie Gillis. Nineteen women, from 19 to 58, were gathered from Guelph and surrounding areas to have their breasts photographed for the cause. The 28 page black and white calendar also has a comprehensive Breast Self Examination instructions, monthly reminders, a breast health care and breast cancer resource guide - even breast trivia.

Forty percent of the net profits from the calendar - 20,000 of them will be distributed across the country - will go towards Breast Cancer Support Services breast health education programs.

All photos are of chest areas: no faces are shown. One depicts a close-up of an infant breast-feeding, one has three topless women with canoe paddles, a third is an above-belt shot of a woman during the late stages of pregnancy, embraced by the arms of her husband.

"It was important to draw attention to the breast, not the people," Richards says.

While the word 'breastı was bent and shaped in silly ways at Tuesdayıs launch at the Guelph Community Health Centre ("itıs BYOB - Bring your own breast(s)" was one, in reference to Thursdayıs calendar celebration at the River Run Centre: "You are invited to the breast celebration in Guelph" was another), Richards and those involved keyed in on the need for proper care in the watch for cancer.

"The only thing worse than finding a lump is not finding a lump," said Adrienne Winslow, outreach and education coordinator of Breast Cancer Support Services.

Calendars are available at Macondo Books, Wild Rose Consignment Clothing, Stone Store, The Bookshelf, Cutting Corner Hair Salon, Guelph Midwives, Melanie Gillis Photography Studio and Arviıs Soaps. For more information, call Art Jam at 767-0142 or visit www.breastofcanada.com.