Know your lemons and save them

By Neeru Saluja

Every day, eight women lose their life to breast cancer in Australia. This year, 19,000 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. To put that into perspective, 76,000 Australians would lose a mother, daughter, sister or wife in the next 10 years.

The statistics are alarming but there is a team of breast cancer survivors who are working hard to change these statistics. The Pink Ribbon breakfast organised by Rekha Rajvanshi and Sue Advani has been going strong since nine years. The brainchild behind this event, Rekha Rajvanshi initiated this cause in 2010 and is now hugely supported by a team including Bharti Gidwani and Meena Mahanty Kumar.

As the Parravilla Function Centre was coloured in hues of pink, the event had it’s strongest attendance with women and men dressed in pink coming from all walks of life. While some were breast cancer survivors, others impacted by the family members, all had come in unison to raise funds for breast cancer.

The event kicked off with Sydney’s first Hindi choir ”˜Sri Sai Choir’ singing Hindi songs from old Bollywood movies. Meena Mahanty Kumar, a breast cancer survivor entertained us with her melodious voice and briefly shared her survival story. She was also joined by Neena Sinha, Dr Palu Malaowalla and Dr Usha Salagame who not only took the courage to share their stories but also educate women about early detection.

The breakfast was not only informative but a fun filled event. As ladies got a chance to mingle, take photos and visit the various stalls, they were also entertained by a fashion show. Shikha Kaushik got her friends once again to grace the catwalk in pink but with a message. As the gorgeous ladies sashayed down dressed in Indian dresses, they also had diyas in their hands, spreading the message that there is light at the end of the tunnel. A brilliant concept conceptualised by the choreographer Shikha with Diwali around the corner.

The day was also graced by the presence of dignitaries Dr Geoff Lee, Hon. Jodi McKay, MP Julie Owen, Consul General’s wife Nimeesha Gupta, Clr Reena Jethi and Clr Sameer Pandey who took out time from their busy schedules to support the cause.  

As the National Breast Cancer Foundation is on a mission to make sure that no one dies from breast cancer by 2030, everyone who attended the breakfast made that goal a step easier. Until a cure is found, the best chance of survival is early detection. ”˜Know your lemons’ is an app that is packed with breast health tools, how to book a mammogram and you can learn how to do a self-examination.

So ladies, as lemons became a stand-in metaphor for breasts and talking freely about them via the ”˜Know your lemons’ campaign, two breast cancer survivors Rekha and Sue have created a platform where the Indian community can share their stories. 

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