In her always and ever-generous spirit of giving to breast-cancer
Survivors and their Supporters, Evelyn Calip, founder and president
of the non-profit organization “Evelyn’s Breast Friends Forever”,
hosted a “Girly Getaway” and private bra-fitting party at Ulta
Beauty in Redondo Beach on April 29, 2012.
This event was just one in a continuous-event list hosted by Evelyn
and her Breast Friends Forever; all of Evelyn’s events are designed
to lift the spirits of breast-cancer Survivors and their Supporters
by giving them a chance to have fun and relate to other Survivors
and Supporters as they go through their treatment.
Survivors, Supporters and Shoppers entered the store underneath a
pink-and-white balloon arch.
The white balloons were embellished with the pink-ribbon
symbol of breast-cancer awareness and survival, and the balloons
were shared with children visiting the store.
“Evelyn’s Breast Friends Forever” was displayed on a pink
silk banner hung across a food-laden table; local businesses had
lavishly contributed sandwiches, drinks and desserts for the event.
Survivors were fitted by a certified-bra expert for a free bra,
specially made for mastectomy and reconstruction patients, and
provided by Amoena.
In addition, they were treated to mini facials, color
matching and the opportunity to win a goodie bag via a raffle.
Suzan Kim, a Survivor who was diagnosed with DCIS breast cancer, is
a Breast-Cancer Mentor who provides guidance to other women newly
diagnosed with DCIS. She attended the event to connect with other
Survivors and to ensure that she would get the correct bra fitting.
Ms. Kim, who has generously donated her hair several times to
Survivors undergoing treatment, has very upbeat thoughts about her
experience with breast cancer. She
enjoys being part of “the biggest Sorority in the World” – the world
of Breast Cancer Survivors – and has friends who also enjoy being
She did not have to undergo chemo, radiation or take drugs, and she
is an inspiration to others who see her as their hope that they,
too, can go through treatment without any kind of chemical
Debbie Parent came to enjoy Everyone’s company.
She has been to Evelyn’s events before, and simply likes being with
other Survivors and their Supporters – “just to come in and do
something fun”, as she put it and meet with others who “have walked
in her shoes”.
When she was fitted for a bra, she decided it was so
comfortable that she would buy additional bras as well!
Ms. Parent also has a very positive attitude about the entire
treatment process, having undergone chemo, and feels extremely well,
finishing her reconstruction on March 27, 2012.
Griselda Olson, another Survivor, felt that under the circumstances,
her treatment went very well.
Her husband, Chris, wanted her to go public with her
treatment and raise awareness of her situation, so Griselda put her
story on Facebook. She now has friends
coming to her, telling her how her story has helped them, and their
wives and girlfriends.
Griselda enjoys coming to Evelyn’s events and doesn’t feel
pressured to talk about her situation, but just enjoys herself,
visiting with other Survivors and Supporters.
Keith Karmody, the manager of Ulta Beauty, hosted this event at the
Ulta Redondo Beach location.
Keith, whose aunt had breast cancer, and who is actively
involved with various community charities, feels that good will is
generated by helping others, such as Evelyn’s Breast Friends
Forever. Mr. Karmody also assisted
Evelyn by obtaining the venue for the 2011 Holiday Luncheon at Lido
di Manhattan, in Manhattan Beach, and procured food and other items
for the Bra Party from local businesses.
Although Evelyn tailors her events towards breast-cancer Survivors
and their Supporters, anyone is welcome to attend them and be
inspired by these valiant, remarkable women who can celebrate life
by stepping away from their treatment for a few hours.
As Evelyn put it:
"A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A
good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and
he who plants kindness gathers love." - Saint
The attendees of Evelyn’s events deeply appreciate her efforts and
friendship, and are eagerly looking forward to the next gathering of
breast-cancer Survivors, Supporters and Friends.
by J. A. Druschke
on Behalf of Evelyn's Breast Friends Forever