This time last year, my homie Lauren Mahon was diagnosed with the bitch that is breast cancer. Almost precisely 12 months later to the day, after a year of gruelling chemotherapy and radiation, she was declared tumour-free. Taking to her social media to provide an inspiringly honest and frank look at the low-lows of the battle, Lauren birthed a movement she hashtagged #GirlVSCancer.
The stigma around cancer is a persistent one. I remember some 15 years ago, my grandmother was in London from Egypt, staying at our house during her treatment; we were at lunch one day and when asked my star sign (Cancer), I just couldn't bring myself to say the word out loud. Fast forward and the fear around the word is no less pervasive, no doubt worsened by all the scare-mongering campaigns and the serious lack of visibility for both cancer battlers, and survivors. All we see are bald-headed men and women on TV, looking frail and frightened when that is far from the complexity of the reality. Indeed, the relative survival rate for women with stage 0 or stage I breast cancer is close to 100%, while for women with stage II breast cancer, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 93%. That's a whopping majority.
No wonder, perhaps, that when my good friend Lauren Mahon of Girl Stole London got diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago, she decided to do something to combat the stigma, to allow her to take back some of the control; to portray a positive, inspirational, hopeful - but most importantly honest - image. That's just how she rolls and I will forever be in awe of her for the bravery, humour and determination with which she has faced some seriously shitty news.
It kinda feels like we made it out the other side of the horrific-ness that is the winter season. I'm a summer baby and the sun makes me happy beyond comprehension, so that the clocks have moved back and we have inches more of sunlight and slightly warmer climes bodes very well for the months ahead. Obviously things can still go wrong in summer, but you just don't mind quite as much when the weather isn't matching the mood.
From attending events hosted by Cointreau, Kate Spade and in conjunction with Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, to some super cool new London based exhibitions and popping over to Paris with Lacoste for the unveiling of the French Olympic team uniforms, April has been a good month. Oh, and not to mention that the Queen that is Beyonce dropped a new album! Check out some of the highlights below...