October is the month for increasing breast cancer awareness and supporting women undergoing the fight. As a brand that celebrates women and their strength, we strive to do our part each year to raise awareness for a cause that is so close to our heart. Mvintage Founder and Designer, Krystle Penza, knows all too well the struggles and destruction that breast cancer leaves in its path, having seen her mother battle a disease that threatened her womanhood and affected her self confidence. However seeing the perseverance and strength that her mother displayed inspired her to advocate for this cause, to raise awareness and provide support for people enduring a similar situation. Resulting in a lasting message that you are not going through this alone, you are a fighter and hope will carry you through this difficult time. This October we wanted to do our part once again by raising awareness for this cause, however we also wanted to include the importance of the concept of HOPE. Hope is an integral emotion when undergoing hardship, it springs from a place of strength and determination; a persistent reminder to keep swimming, even if the tide is against you.

Therefore throughout October, we will be doing our utmost to participate in the cause by creating a campaign aimed at showing solidarity with women battling breast cancer. A campaign we have aptly named #GIFTHOPE. Our first means of doing so will be by donating a HOPE bracelet to a breast cancer fighter with every purchase made. A token we ‘hope’ will act as a gentle reminder to keep fighting. This will not only allow us to provide a small gift to the brave women fighting, but also allow our customers to participate and show their support. Each purchase made will also include a #gifthope card, with breast cancer facts aimed at educating and increasing awareness about the illness. This will also be reflected in our shops, where breast cancer facts will be displayed, inviting our customers and passers by to reflect upon the cause and learn something they might not have known about breast cancer.

Furthermore we encourage our customers to take a picture at Mvintage advocating for our #gifthope campaign. The pictures will be uploaded to an album on our facebook page to show support. Whether you have gone through it yourself, have a friend or relative battling breast cancer, or just want to show unity. We invite you to join us in supporting the brave individuals fighting the battle, to show them that there is strength in numbers and they are not alone.

In collaboration with Action For Breast Cancer Foundation we have been able to better understand the message that breast cancer survivors and fighters want to project. We conducted an interview with three brave and gracious women, Esther, Josette and Lorraine, who gave us a little insight into the process of undergoing a life changing experience and what helped them to get through it. We first asked what HOPE meant to them when fighting their battle. Josette and Esther, who are currently breast cancers survivors, referred to hope as an essential tool. Lorraine, who is currently undergoing treatment, described how hope didn’t come easily but recognized the importance of implementing it in order the beat her cancer. The resounding message these three women gave was that, although hope seems impossible in the face of illness, one must overcome the fear of hoping, for the vigor of living and fighting for their family and loved ones. We also asked the importance of getting checked regularly. All three women stressed the necessity of regular check ups whether you are healthy or not. Esther advocated for a simple self-check once a month, Josette stressed the importance of better education in schools, and Lorraine emphasized trusting in your own instincts, going to get a mammography as soon as you suspect something, just to be on the safe side. They all recognized that although the process of getting checked out may be traumatizing and we might want to avoid the stress at all costs, it is necessity rather than a choice. Listen to your body and what it is telling you, treat it like a temple, and fight for your life. 

From left to right: Josette, Lorraine, Esther[/caption] A surprising concluding factor that these three brave women taught us after this interview is that breast cancer has altered their view on life…for the positive. Each woman spoke about how she was forever changed, choosing however to focus on how her life had been altered positively rather than negatively. How in the face of death, an appreciation for life had sprung that reduced insignificant worries in favor of cherishing what really matters. Lorraine described how she was a negative person before being diagnosed, but has since developed an outlook of determination to live and beat the disease. Esther explained to us that out of every negative situation you can extract positivity, and this was reflected in how she took care of herself after her ordeal. Josette became enlightened to the fact that life has so much to offer and to let go of materialistic things in favor of love and family. They also explained that each breast cancer case is unique and their opinions and outlooks are exclusive to them, everyone’s experiences are different and therefore cannot be generalized. Ultimately our aim this October is to support the fight and promote hope as an integral emotion, to aid women in realizing their strength, beauty and determination. We also want to give our clients the opportunity to participate in this contribution and raise awareness by sharing the gift of hope. #gifthope

With love, The Mvintage Team xxx