Know 2 Beat: Engaging the Youth in Cancer Awareness

Awareness campaigns for cancer tend to be (most often) developed by and for adults, but what happens when the tables are turned and the younger generation is the one creating the message for their peers and communities?

That’s what Know to Beat is all about and it is from that base that we teamed up with the Faireface Association, May Jallad Foundation and Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation (LBCF) to develop a cancer awareness competition that would bring in the creative talents of 15 public schools from the Beirut district.

With the support of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, we began our journey in the Fall of 2014: preparing for the competition and visiting the schools to introduce them to the project. Each group of students from the schools had a choice of one of five cancers: breast, cervical, lung, skin and testicular cancer – cancers that are not only common in Lebanon, but that would be of interest for the youth to focus on.The students taking part would have to learn more about cancer and its prevention methods by conducting their own research (we provided some helpful links to get them started here), interviewing specialists and then developing campaign materials (a poster, flyer and short movie) to spread awareness to their community.

When we first started visiting the schools, we noticed that the majority of the students didn’t know much about cancer, but that didn’t discourage them from taking part nor did they shy away from the subject. On the contrary: the taboo that often comes with the disease didn’t affect them and they were determined to develop the best project possible. IMG_1031 IMG_0992 IMG_1165 Teamwork among the students was also very evident during the process. The students divided themselves up to each work on a different part of the project. At Amir Shakib Reslan School, for example, one of the students volunteered right away to direct the video his team would submit because he has a passion for filmmaking and would like to pursue it as his future career. Each group (consisting of 10-15 students from each school) had around three months to work on their projects and submit the campaign materials  for evaluation by a carefully-assembled jury.

Once we started receiving the submissions, the enthusiasm was at its peak – we couldn’t wait to see what the students had come up with! It was interesting to see that 60% of the schools (9 schools) had chosen to focus on lung cancer, followed by cervical cancer (3 schools), breast cancer (2 schools) and testicular cancer (1 school). None of the schools had selected to work on skin cancer awareness. The high number of schools choosing to shed light on lung cancer reflects a real concern for the increasing number of people smoking – among the youth and otherwise.

The reason for each school’s choice varied. Second Achrafieh Public School chose testicular cancer: a choice interestingly made by the girls in the group in order to raise awareness to boys and the men in their life. Laur Mghayzel Public School for Girls opted for cervical cancer instead of breast cancer because there isn’t enough awareness on this issue that affects all women – whether its a mother, daughter or grandmother. For others, the project had a personal significance for the students, such as at Jamil Rawas High School, that dedicated their project to a beloved teacher who had passed away from lung cancer. K2BInvite_March11UNESCO_EnglishLast Wednesday (March 11th), the winners of the top projects were revealed and they received their prizes at a special ceremony. Upon entering the hall at Unesco Palace, you could instantly see the eagerness of the students. They were all (rightfully!) proud of their projects hanging along the walls, taking photographs of each other, reminiscing on the process among each other and sharing a laugh. IMG_5925 IMG_5962 And the winners were.. cue the drumroll please!

First Place:

Click on the image to watch their video online.

Click on the image to watch their video online.

First Place:

First Place: Gebran Andraos Tueini Public High School

Second Place: 

Click on the image to watch their video online.

Click on the image to watch their video online.


Second Place: Zahia Salman Public High School

Third Place:

Click on the image to watch their video online.

Click on the image to watch their video online.

Third Place: Ras El-Nabeh Public High School for Boys

Third Place: Ras El-Nabeh Public High School for Boys

The reactions – from the students to the principal and teachers – was truly priceless! It’s very rewarding to see how this project had such a positive impact on all those involved.

This adorable little model made an appearance to support her school - who ended up winning first place!

This adorable little model made an appearance to support her school – who ended up winning first place!

Actively involving the youth in such preventative healthcare helps eliminate the taboo that comes with cancer at an earlier age while also spreading awareness to their surrounding in an engaging way. The creativity and dedication demonstrated by the students that took part is very promising to a brighter, cancer-free future.


Take the Pledge!

OCTOBER is the international Breast Cancer Awareness month and what better way to show your support for women fighting cancer than by donating from your own hair to help them cope better with the harsh side effects of chemotherapy? 

One Wig Stand in collaboration with L’Oreal Professionnel are organizing a special hair donation event at City Centre Beirut, teaming up with top L’Oreal hair stylists for an afternoon of free cuts and styling for all who wish to donate.

We have some special surprises also planned for all who make the cut that day. Feel free to spread the word to friends and family who may be interested!

If you’ve made the cut recently and want to drop off your hair donation that day, please do!

MTC2_owsblog_graphicEVENT DETAILS
Date: Sunday, October 19, 2014
Venue: City Centre Beirut – Galleria Level (L0)
Time: 2pm – 8pm
To book your spot, call us on: 79-158471
Please come with pre-washed hair.

City Centre Beirut
Hair & More
Kellogg’s Special K
Merlun Group
RTB: Ready to Broadcast
Sakr Printing

Minimum Length: 20 cm
Type of Hair: Wavy or curly hair is completely acceptable so long as it is in good condition (not dried out or damaged).
Colored Hair: Even if your hair is colored and/or with highlights, it might still be used unless it has been bleached. Bleached hair is more apt to break during the wig-making process, and as such, preferably avoided.
Grey Hair: No more than 5% grey please as grey hair becomes fragile during processing and may not absorb color as well.

How many centimeters are you planning to donate? Select the number of centimeters from this album and post it on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to represent your goal. This is a great encouragement for friends and family to also take part!


For more information and donation guidelines, please visit: www.onewigstand.org/makethecut 

If you are or know a cancer patient in need of a wig for her treatment, we are here to help. Contact us on 79-158471 or info@onewigstand.org to set a meeting and find the right match.


Little BIG Things You Can Do This October

As of October 1st, we’ve introduced a new daily post series of awareness tips that we’ll be sharing via our facebook page for the entire month. They’re all small things that won’t require much time or effort but will help you learn in small doses more about breast health, early detection signs and other activities you can do to show your support for the cause.

Try to put them to practice whenever possible this month:

Thanks to the help of our team of wonderful volunteers, we’ll also be sharing the daily posts in Arabic so more women from the region can benefit from them too:

Arabic Translation: Samira El-Ghoul

Arabic Translation: Nesrine Chami

Arabic Translation: Soha Menassa

Be sure to check our page daily this month and share the ones you find particularly valuable with others to spread the awareness. If you have any recommendations for other “Little Big Things” someone can do during October, let us know by email to info@onewigstand.org.

via Worldwide Breast Cancer

Inspiration Collection

There’s truly lots of helpful information online regarding breast cancer awareness, but it often goes ignored for being either too deja-vu, medical or boring. We strongly believe in the role design plays in getting the right message across so we spent a few days looking online for the most creative samples out there. Below are a few of our favorites and feel free to share them with others or print them out to serve as reminders when needed:

Source: Worldwide Breast Cancer

Source: I Heart Guts

Source: Asbestos News (Click to see enlarged)

Check out more from our collection of creative self-check tips and references here. We’ll keep adding to it along the way and if you have spotted some interesting breast cancer awareness flyers, campaigns or ads, please share with us by email to onewigstand@gmail.com or by posting directly on our Facebook page.


Interview | Rosemin Manji

Rosemin Manji, founder of RR&Co. Bespoke Luxury Management and the popular host of “Fashion Thursdays on Studio One” on Dubai One TV, is an influential advocate for breast cancer awareness in the Middle East. Rosemin was also recently involved with in the Bras for a Cause Middle East campaign as both a Jury member and a guest speaker at the Dubai fashion show event.

Rosemin guest speaking at the recent Bras for a Cause event in Dubai

As a wonderful role model for women of all ages, we thought, who better to talk about this important cause? We took a few minutes out of Rosemin’s busy schedule to get her take on this topic and what it means to her:

1. As we’ve come to learn, your mother is a breast cancer survivor and no doubt an inspiration for your active involvement in supporting awareness campaigns for this cause. How has what she’s gone through affected you? Please describe with us your experience as the daughter of a survivor.

My mom was diagnosed over 25 years ago, a time when no one really talked about it and there wasn’t as many options except than to remove the breasts and go through extensive chemo. I was only 4 when she was doing the hospital visits and chemo treatment yet those memories are still feel very vivid. I remember being very scared at the thought of losing her.

We were very lucky that a young doctor from Florida flew into a small town in Canada to perform the reconstrution for her. I am so blessed that she is still alive and well, and that medicine and technology have advanced so that we now have better early detection methods.

Check out a clip of Rosemin’s speech at the event below:

2. What advice would you give to a family member or friend of someone diagnosed with breast cancer?

Be supportive, be a friend and be a good listener. Sometimes while going through something this traumatic, you need someone to laugh with and a shoulder to cry on – all at the same time.

3. A drawing concern for women who have been touched by breast cancer within their family is “Am I at risk too?” Has this question ever come to mind and have you ever gotten a mammography scan to eliminate any doubt?

Knowing that I have breast cancer in my family now, I do annual phyicals with my doctor and mammography scans every other year. My doctor taught me how to properly do a self-exam so I do this VERY regularly. It’s important to know your body.

4. What are your thoughts on the growing rate of breast cancer in the Middle East and what would encourage more women to get checked early-on? 

Over the past three years, I have seen a growth in education and more emphasis on breast cancer awareness in the region. We need to change the myth that only women who are 40 and above can get breast cancer. This misconception tends to make women who are in their 20s and 30s more passive about getting scanned.  Two years ago, a close friend of mine in Dubai was diagnosed at the young age of 31 so it’s really never too early to start getting checked.

5. Breast cancer is often referred to as “that disease” and people in our part of the world shy away from talking about it as it’s still very-much regarded as taboo. Survivors oftentimes suffer in silence for fear of being rejected by society. Do you think that the public’s perception is changing and what, in your opinion, can be done to remove that “taboo” that comes along with breast cancer in the Middle East?

It’s all about education. We as a society need to learn about all types of cancer (prostate cancer, breast cancer etc.) for both our own good and to help educate others. It will take time but campaigns, like Bras for a Cause Middle East, are the first steps toward creating this kind of awareness.

Rosemin taking the K-Lynn Pledge in support of early detection. She's wearing the stylish "Pink Outside the Box" custom-designed t-shirt by Customnation for the "Look Good, Feel Good" Collection.

6. It was an honor having you involved in Bras for a Cause Middle East for the past few months as not only a Jury member but as an active supporter of the campaign. What initially drew you to take part in the campaign and do you think it was successful in raising awareness? What were the key highlights of the campaign for you?

It was a real honour to be a part of Bras for a Cause Middle East and I enjoyed the fashion element of the campaign. Women often feel less feminine or attractive after surgery, so the bra design competition was something that I thought was appropriate yet fun at the same time.

7. If you could leave one closing message about breast cancer to all the young women reading this interview, what would it be?

I am begging women, regardless of how old you are, PLEASE get a mammogram scan done. Take your girlfriends, mothers and sisters with you! Also learn to do a self-exam so you can detect any changes in your body.

Lastly, buy one of the cool t-shirts or bras from the “Look Good, Feel Good” Collection as full proceeds will be donated to breast cancer groups across the region making a difference.

Grab your own "Pink Outside the Box" t-shirt and other fab items from the collection at the following stores: Galeries Lafayette, K-Lynn Lingerie, Cream, Maison Bo-M, Amuse Concept Store, Pink Dust, Sotra, La T-Shirterie and online at Aura-b: http://www.aura-b.com

Rosemin Manji proves that “pink” truly never goes out of style. Thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview with us and we hope you’re important message of awareness leaves an impact on anyone reading this.