Being that we here at The Fashionable Housewife are big supporters of anything having to do with raising Breast Cancer Awareness and much needed funds, we have joined forces with the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in order to bring you this great interview with Eloise Caggiano, Breast Cancer Survivor and Program Director for Avon Walk for Breast Cancer… and some special surprises at the end of the post! We were really excited to start working with them because Breast Cancer is a serious issues that has affected millions of Americans.
We had a ton of questions for Eloise because she is one of those strong, independent and admirable type women that we can all look up to but we managed to whittle those down. Check out Eloise’s responses to my favorite questions:
1. Since we are all about fashion here at The Fashionable Housewife, we want to know what your favorite item of clothing/accessory is that best helps you raise Breast Cancer Awareness?
I love pink! And thankfully, it’s a color that looks good on just about everyone! There are lots of great Avon Walk for Breast Cancer shirts that I love, including a great new tank top that has sparkles on it — but right now one of my new favorites is a pink denim jacket that will be available for sale soon at Avon.com and through Avon representatives. It’s not only a super-cute jacket, but more than $27.00 from each jacket purchased goes to the Avon Foundation and our fight against breast cancer! $27.00!! How great is that? The folks at Avon actually asked me to “model” the jacket for the October issue of their catalog (see pic below) — what an honor! The jacket will be online soon. There is also a really sweet bracelets and even a pink Avon nail polish that benefits our breast cancer work — all on avon.com. It’s fun to shop for a cause….it’s guilt-free shopping!
Check out the AVON Walk Online Shop for great products that raise awareness
2. We love that you are a strong and successful woman. What advice would you give to our readers about being our best, even through hardships?
It’s all about attitude! I firmly believe that your attitude affects how your body handles things. When I was diagnosed and going through treatments, I could have easily wallowed in my misery, complained, and stayed home feeling sorry for myself. Instead, I chose to get up every day like a “normal” person, get dressed, pop on my wig and go to work. It wasn’t always easy, and I had to adjust my workload a bit because I was pretty tired, but I knew if I went to work it would help pass the time, I’d feel more productive and chances are, at some point during the day someone would make me laugh. None of that would be happening if I stayed home on my couch all day by myself. Also, it was important to me to keep as many things as “normal” as possible — so many things were out of my control, that I wanted to feel like I still had some normalcy in my life, like going to work, or going to the gym, spending time with friends. I would remind myself that plenty of other people have gotten through this, so I can too.
3. What has been one of your most memorable moments since joining the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer?
Oh gosh – there have been so many amazing moments! I wish I could list the names of every single person I’ve met at an Avon Walk, because each of them have made this a special experience for me. Their stories, there dedication, their passion — it’s just incredible! I absolutely love when I meet someone who has benefited from the programs we fund with money raised at the Avon Walks — like a survivor who was able to get the breast cancer treatment she needed or a mammogram even though she did not have insurance. It is living proof that we are doing amazing work, that we are making a difference! Meeting the other survivors is always significant for me — especially when I meet the “big number” survivors, like this fabulous woman Deb who is a 25 year survivor! It gives me such hope, and they are so inspiring! Recently, I was talking to a women who was very recently diagnosed and she was asking a lot of questions about my experience and my perspective now as compared to how I felt 5 years ago and said “wow – I’m so glad I’m talking to you. You are making me feel so much better! Knowing that you went through all of these same things, worried about the same things, etc. is making me feel less crazy!” So knowing that just by talking to people that I’m helping them in some small way, means so much to me.
4. What has been the greatest thing you have learned about yourself having fought Breast Cancer and celebrated your 5 year Cancerversary?
Having cancer sucks. There’s no other way to say it. But, a lot of good can come out of it too! I learned a lot about myself in the process, what I’m capable of, how strong I am, how incredibly loved I am and so fortunate to have such amazing people in my life. I learned that it is okay to ask for help (and that people really WANT to help!) And I learned how lucky I was to have great health insurance and access to top doctors because not everyone is as fortunate as I was, and it makes me so proud to be part of the Avon Foundation, knowing that the money we raised helps people get the breast cancer care they need regardless of their ability to pay for it! We want to turn every diagnosis into a story of survival!
5. What is the greatest thing you have learned from another survivor as I am sure you have met and befriended many in your journey in the past 5 years?
Being diagnosed with breast cancer throws you into this whole new, unknown and scary world! I have met many incredible survivors and have learned a little something from each of them. But I think one common thing they all showed me is that you can get through it, and you can even laugh in the process! I think I’ve gleaned a little bit of hope, inspiration, courage and knowledge from all of them, and it has made me a better, stronger person.
We are so thankful that Eloise took the time to answer our questions! We know that she is in the midst of the walking season and is super busy. Speaking of walking season, did you ladies know that there are still three Avon Walks for Breast Cancer left this year? You can still participate! Do you live in or around New York City NY, Santa Barbara CA or Charlotte NC? So do you want to register and help raise awareness and much needed funds for the Avon Foundation, which ensures that grants are awarded to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations to support five areas of the breast cancer cause, including: awareness and education; screening and diagnosis; access to treatment; support services; and, scientific research. Awesome, right?
The Avon Foundation has given the Fashionable Housewife a Pink Kodak pocket HD Video Camera (valued over $100), to giveaway to one lucky reader. To win the camera you will need to register for one of the three remaining 2011 Avon Walks for Breast Cancer. But the Avon Foundation is giving our readers a discount! When registering at www.avonwalk.org, just enter the code “WALK1” at checkout to receive a $20 discount. The remaining 2011 walks include: Santa Barbara (September 17-18), New York (October 15-16) and Charlotte (October 22-23). So if you’ve registered, be sure to leave us a comment and let us know which walk!