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Breast Cancer Awareness,
Day by Day

Off the Shelf

Reviewed by Julie McCann
November - December 2001

In the vein of last year’s The Ladies of Rylstone Calendar comes a highly informative calendar entitled Breast of Canada 2002, straight from Guelph, Ontario. Those of you familiar with Guelph’s movers and shakers will easily recognize the name Sue Richards. Founder of Art Jam and owner of unparalleled energy and creativity, she has collaborated with local art photographer Melanie Gillis and graphic designer Gareth Lind to “deliver a powerful, positive perspective on breasts and breast health practices.”

Those of us who have breasts and those who admire them unfortunately know the reality of breast cancer. This calendar challenges us to take the matter into our own hands literally and figuratively. Filled with interesting breast facts, an easy to follow comprehensive breast self-examination (BSE) resource guide, and traditional and unique holidays (my favourites are International Goof Off day and Weedless Wednesday), the calendar is a tasteful and useful tool to help us be more proactive in our heath. An added bonus is the ample space for all, even socialites, to keep track of their upcoming events. 

The concept of the calendar was born when Richards "abruptly learned that she was doing her BSE’s wrong, wrong, wrong and was shocked. Then scared. Then angry.” In order to make effective change she decided to use her skills and resources to create this calendar. Purchasers will also be glad to know that 40% of net profits will go to a grassroots breast health charity. 

Currently, there are plans to make the calendar an annual publication. If you consider yourself an amateur or professional photographer you may wish to enter the photo contest for inclusion in the 2003 calendar. The deadline is January 30, 2002 and all information can be found in the calendar or by accessing the website at www.breastofcanada.com

Everyone knows someone who has feared, worried and/or confronted breast cancer. At long last there is a beautiful and useful representation of women from all walks of life confronting and practicing breast health. In Richards’s words: “be a friend, remind a friend” that breast health starts with them. While at times a daunting task, this calendar attempts to make the practice more accessible. It truly reflects an appreciation of women and their bodies as they are. It also empowers us to control the seemingly uncontrollable.