Ford’s Warriors in Pink: Inspiring strength and bravery in the fight against breast cancer

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“Don’t be afraid; checkups save lives, including mine.” That’s the advice from Debbie Armaly, a three-year breast cancer survivor, who recently took part in a special photo-shoot organised by Ford Motor Company and its Warriors in Pink® campaign to launch Models of Courage in the Middle East.

Following on from its huge success in the US, Ford Middle East selected five inspirational women to take part in the campaign to highlight the stories of local breast cancer survivors and promote the importance of early detection in the battle against the disease.

Ford Motor Company has been active in the fight against breast cancer since 1993. In 2006 Ford intensified its efforts by introducing Warriors in Pink and the Ford Warriors in Pink line of wear and gear. 100% of the net proceeds from all wear and gear sales is dedicated to the cause with donations going to charities that offer a wide-range of support.

Statistically, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, 85 per cent of whom have no family history of the disease. With figures as high as these, it indicates the importance of early detection and local awareness programs.

The “Models of Courage”: Five survivors. Five stories of hope.
They come from different countries and different cultures. Their ages span five decades. Many are married and some are single. They are established in their careers, just starting out, starting over or retired. But these five women have something important in common: They are all breast cancer survivors.

Debbie jointed other regional breast cancer survivors Judi Riley, Katherine Brownlie, Jane Tribe and Frauke Duda to take part in the day’s photo-shoot to model the 2013 collection of Ford Warriors in Pink®. In addition to modeling the latest apparel and accessories from the collection, the women also shared their personal stories and encouraging messages for those battling the disease.

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One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.

Katherine, the youngest Model of Courage, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 34-years old, said she hopes her involvement in the campaign will raise awareness of breast cancer amongst younger generations. “Practice self-checkups and don’t be afraid to go to the doctor. You must always look on the bright side and surround yourself with friends and family as they provide a solid support network to help you get through,” she said.

Jane, who was diagnosed two years ago, and Frauke, who is still battling breast cancer, both highlighted the importance of staying positive. “If you notice changes do not be afraid to visit your doctor. Remain calm and positive and you will get through,” said Jane. “Do the things in life you have always wanted to do…travel, play sport, and enjoy yourself. A positive outlook is key to fighting and carrying on,” added Frauke, whose unwavering strength and determination prove that cancer does not mean the end of your life.

Judi’s life changed in October 2011 when an abnormality was detected and confirmed as breast cancer. ‘My advice to anyone about to embark on their journey through this experience is to stay strong, things can only get better. Do not feel ashamed share your thoughts and feelings with family or friends they want to help and support you’.

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In a region where a worryingly high number of breast cancer sufferers are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease and the illness often remains taboo, Ford Middle East hopes that each of these women’s stories and their advice will act as a catalyst to encourage others to talk about their own experiences and inspire more people to get regular checkups.

“Ford Middle East would like to highlight and celebrate breast cancer survivors who have demonstrated strength and courage in their battle. The five women we have selected as our Models of Courage and who have shared their stories of hope and survival will connect with women and men who need support and encouragement during this challenging experience. The collection they have modeled features important symbols signifying the messages of hope, strength and unity in the fight against breast cancer,” said Sue Nigoghossian, Ford Middle East’s Brand Communications and Public Affairs manager.

“Ford is dedicated to making a difference 365 days a year by encouraging women to become informed and visit their doctors, educating them that early detection saves lives. We would like to thank Glambox ME and Vida Downtown Dubai for their support with the shoot,” she added.

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“Ford Middle East would like to highlight and celebrate breast cancer survivors who have demonstrated strength and courage in their battle.”

The new Warriors in Pink® collection is now available at www.fordcares.com, with 100 percent of net proceeds going directly to the fight against breast cancer. Customers also have the opportunity to choose which breast cancer charity to support with their apparel purchase at checkout. The four organizations highlighted include:

– Susan G. Komen ® — Komen’s promise is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all and energizing science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, the organization has invested almost $2 billion to fulfill its promise, working to end breast cancer in the U.S. and throughout the world through groundbreaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 50 countries.

– Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation (DSLRF) — With more than 365,000 grassroots volunteers from around the country, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation conducts, funds and fast tracks research with the unique mission of creating a future without breast cancer by understanding the causes and ways to prevent it.

– The Pink Fund — Provides financial aid in the form of direct bill payment on behalf of breast cancer patients in active treatment. Many patients are unable to work during treatment. Others lose their jobs. With mounting bills and either no income or severely limited income, they quickly find themselves in dire financial distress. The Pink Fund provides Real Help Now.

– Young Survival Coalition (YSC) — The Young Survival Coalition directly improves the lives of thousands of young women with breast cancer. One in eight women diagnosed with breast cancer are younger than 45 years old. YSC provides free resources and programs to support, educate and empower these women.

Ford Warriors in Pink goal is to keep the topic of breast cancer part of everyday conversation and encourage women and men to engage in self-exams. Greater awareness can lead to earlier diagnosis, which in turn, could save lives. Ford is committed to the cause and has dedicated more than $120 million to the cause. We hope that you will join us – whether you are a survivor, co-survivor or simply someone who cares. Wear the gear, show your support and spread the word. Welcome Warriors!