Breast Cancer Awareness

September 2, 2008 9:29:10 AM PDT
Breast cancer awareness month is still 30 days away, but already some survivors are thinking pink. More than a dozen Fresno area breast cancer survivors donned pink parasols Monday to create an image of survival and prepare for the third annual "pink show." While they posed for pictures, they shared their stories of survival.

Fresno artist Bebe Long is a cancer survivor. She battled melanoma ten years ago and breast cancer two years ago.

She says, "The people that you meet through this process ... the ladies I met in radiation while you're sitting there all gowned up.... they're amazing... these people are amazing.... and most of them were much more stricken than me."

Long says she finds great joy in meeting other suvivors and sharing their stories, which is why she got involved in what's called "The Pink Show." "The Pink Show" is an art expo and sale to raise money for cancer research and awareness.

This year's show will feature a Bebe Long original oil painting "Sisterhood of the Pink Parasols" plus another painting by Bebe Long and these cancer survivors entitled "Paint the Town Pink." Each woman painted a star in the sky representing herself and the many others who have not survived.

"The Pink Show" grew out of a friendship that developed between Fresno photographer Cynthia Manuszak and then cancer patient Mary Lozano three years ago.

Mary Lozano recalls when they met two years ago, "Cindy would see me leaving my condo, going to treatment, she saw my hair fall out... she's a very compassionate person and it bothered her and she felt helpless."

One day Cindy Manuszak asked to take Lozano's picture. That's when the two women came up with the idea of "The Pink Show" with artwork representing the fight against and survival of breast cancer.

Fresno Bee reporter Tracy Correa attended her first "Pink Show" last year shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Correa says, "When you're diagnosed with cancer, you feel so vulnerable. To come through it and to see these other women who've come through it, it makes you feel good it makes you feel stronger."

The two paintings will be up for auction at the pink show later this month. For more information on "The Pink Show," log on to our website at ABC30.com.



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