Lemonista: A Breast Cancer Awareness Booth with a Zesty Twist!

Breast cancer awareness is a sensitive issue for young people who may not always be ready or receptive to talking about such (let’s admit: scary) things even if they know they may be at risk. So when we were invited to take part in AUB’s Annual Civic Engagement Conference and Fair, we immediately got to thinking of different ways to reach and engage the students so that we may get our message across more effectively.

Less than two years ago, we teamed up with Worldwide Breast Cancer to adapt their brilliant flyers into Arabic (with the translation support of Samar Hajj-Ali) and so we looked no further than those “lemons” as a base for building our booth’s concept on. Lemons are fresh, lemons are fun and lemons make lemonade – we were onto something!

We decided to take the twelve signs to watch for one step further by creating plastic models to represent each one. Students had a chance to look more closely at them, ask questions and try to find a match with some of the actual lemons decorating our booth. Most weren’t aware of all the signs that may indicate breast cancer developing in the chest, besides a lump, so it was an eye-opening experience for all. Lemonista-2370 The highlight for those visiting the booth must have been the interactive “Wheel of Lemons” game we developed that included eight different categories of questions or games to play, based on where the dial pointed. Categories including “Mythbuster”, “Celebrities” and the unexpected “Wild Card” gave participants a chance to win a cup of free, home-made lemonade (lovingly made by Teta Laurice, Loryne’s granny). Lemonista-2378 While the questions ranged from easy to tricky (can you guess the answer of the question in the picture above without seeing the answer?), no one passed on the challenge and eagerly took turns guessing for the right answer. Even those who didn’t win a lemonade were good sports about it and left with something out of the experience, whether it was a chance to ask a question that’s been on their mind or simply learning a new breast cancer fact they didn’t know about before (such as that the left breast is more prone to developing cancer that the right one). Lemonista-2637 The reactions and questions we received during the two days of the fair were honestly the most significant part of the experience for us. For example, the second the wheel marker would stop at “Celebrities”, Angelina Jolie would be the first thing on their mind – which is a great sign of the awareness she’s shed although her reasons for doing it (as a preventative measure rather than a treatment for cancer) wasn’t as clear for some of the students. This gave us the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with them about what she’d done and raise awareness on genetic testing.

Other students had bigger concerns on their mind which would come out in conversation before or after playing the game, including how to self-check and assess their risk if a family member had had cancer. Some even felt comfortable enough sharing a personal experience they may not have had a chance to share otherwise, which was incredibly touching for us. Lemonista-2585 More than 200 cups of lemonade later (over a span of two days), we can safely say that our mission was accomplished and that our “Lemonista” awareness booth had a positive impact on all those who took part, making all the hard-work planning and preparing for it even more worthwhile.

View highlights of our booth in this video montage:

Whether it was a new fact learned, a question answered, a laugh shared – or maybe simply a refreshing drink received – everyone left with a little something and we look forward to spreading more awareness in this way in the future. Where should “The Lemonista” set up her awareness booth next? Keep posted!

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Thank you to AUB and the CCECS team for inviting us to take part in their fair which is key to developing civic engagement for students and building a more positive future. A very big thank you goes to our amazing volunteers Aya, Myriam and Catherine for all their help and dedication, Teta Laurice for preparing all the lemonade for us, and to our talented board member, Mira for her guidance in developing the concept for the booth.

Let’s WhatsApp: Chatting About Nutrition

On March 4th, we held our first “Let’s WhatsApp” group chat for Breast Cancer patients and survivors. This was the first of an on-going support program we’ll be offering to help connect patients from across Lebanon and provide them an opportunity to benefit from specialists’ advice from the comfort of their own home. S1Nutrition_Feb2015_AR

For our first “Let’s WhatsApp”, clinical nutritionist Diane Nicolas, who has extensive experience working with cancer patients, was the featured specialist who volunteered her time and expertise for the session on Nutrition.

The group chat setting was intimate with five women (the majority of which had never met in person) taking part and asking their questions on topics of interest to each of them while also sharing their own tips amongst each other. Their enthusiasm and curiosity about the subject was evident from the onset!

Trigging the first discussion was the link between nutrition and cancer – and the majority agreed, that yes, it does play a role. One of the patients held a different perspective as despite having a very healthy lifestyle and diet, she still got diagnosed with cancer. So is there or isn’t there a link? Diane shed insight by explaining that although improper nutrition doesn’t necessarily lead to cancer, following the right diet and maintaining your health increases your chances of preventing it. Genetics and the environment are very important factors that also play a role, so it isn’t just nutrition that may affect your diagnosis.

Coffee was another hot topic among the women: How much was too much? What were the benefits and was there harm in adding coffee creamers, like Coffeemate, to ones cup? Another topic of much interest was meats, chickens and fish. Questions ranged from how best to cook it (Well-done? Over-cooked? Tip: Avoid burning it!) to whether eating local mezza specialties like raw meat (kebbe and kasbe naye) were harmful. Even sushi came up! LetsWhatsApp_ChatQuestion1 Topics that always often raise question marks, like the rumored link of soy to cancer, how much chocolate is good for you and even the role of ashta in helping one lost weight came up too and were discussed further. (PS: The answers to all the above are below) LetsWhatsApp_ChatQuestion2 Diane was very helpful and quickly answered all the questions brought up during the chat. She additionally helped break the ice at the start so that no one felt uncomfortable. Jokes, questions and even personal tips were being shared among the participants by the end of the chat – a very positive sign!

For those who missed the chat or were curious about the topics covered, we’ve compiled a short summary for you below of the top nutrition tips shared by Diane Nicolas:

  • Coffeemate is not bad, but it should preferably be replaced with a more nutritious food such as milk (liquid or powdered are both good). Skimmed milk? Even better!
  • Chocolate in moderation is not harmful for the health, but we must be careful not to gain weight because weight gain is closely linked to cancer.
  • Chicken is not harmful if you trust the source as some chicken is injected with hormones so be careful where you get or eat it from (the size of the chicken is a helpful indication)
  • A myth that was challenged? Kachta and avocado don’t help you lose weight. It’s all about reducing calories. One avocado is actually equivalent to 8 spoons of oil so avoid eating too much of it.

 The Dos:

  • Eat Fresh
  • Eat fruits, vegetables and legumes more often.
  • Eat only fresh Frish…
  • Consume meat 2 times per week, try to avoid raw meats
  • Eat preferably chicken breast.
  • Consume more whole grain Lebanese bread (“2am7a kemle”)
  • Limit your coffee intake to 2 cups per day.

The Donts:

  • Don’t eat caned or smoked tuna and salmon.
  • Don’t eat over-cooked meat (ma7rou2).
  • Avoid raw meat (kassbeh and kebbe Nayye)
  • Avoid soybeans as they are genetically modified.
  • If your treatment includes cortisone, do not abuse sugar and deserts.
  • Our Mediterranean diet is very healthy and complete, so don’t search for exotic foods in order to be healthier or to prevent diseases.

“Don’t eat less, but EAT RIGHT; this is the response to all illness and diseases linked to nutrition. Flash news: We are lucky to be Lebanese since our diet is known to be the best among hundred of diets all over the world. We have the healthiest mix and match: 3adas b7amod, taboule, fatouch, ma7aché, sbenikh, mloukhieh, bemye, makhlouta, labne, jebne bayda, kebbe… ” – Diane Nicolas

LetsWhatsApp_Feedback

“I’d like to thank every person that took part in the group chat and encourage One Wig Stand for this amazing project. We are lucky to have such a support that offers knowledge and care at the same time. Thank you!” – Diane Nicolas

All the feedback we received from those who took part was very encouraging and we’re looking forward to hosting more of these group chats on different topics to benefit patients and survivors in the future. Thank you to all the ladies who took part and to the lovely Diane Nicolas for lending her time and expertise for these sessions!

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Do you have a subject in mind that you’d like us to discuss in the next WhatsApp session? Is there a certain specialist you’d like to recommend who’d be interested in sharing their knowledge with others? Please feel free to suggest a topic or specialist you’d like to chat with us in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to make it happen!

If you’re a breast cancer patient, survivor or caregiver that would be interested in signing up for the next session, please send us an email to: info@onewigstand.org or call us at +961 79 158 471 so we keep you posted.

Blossom زهري : Art Therapy Workshops

ARE YOU A BREAST CANCER PATIENTS OR SURVIVOR?

Give yourself a chance to RELAX, REFLECT and RECONNECT with yourself (and others) through art. Blossom_Instagram “I never imagined the amount of information that would come out of a small drawing on paper. It was amazing how much did come out of that.. I was given insight that I wasn’t aware of, which gave me a sense of empowerment, and then I was able to make the decision that I wanted to from that.” – Patricia, Breast Cancer Patient (Source)


Artichoke Studio and One Wig Stand invite you to take part in a unique art therapy workshop to delve deeper into matters of importance to you and reshape your cancer experience.

“Art Therapy is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the Art Therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.” – American Art Therapy Association, 2015

Through art-making and intimate group discussions, the workshop aims to help each participant express her emotions, and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of herself. In a playful and nonjudgmental environment, important issues will be tackled through different artistic mediums (such as drawings, collage, clay, etc.) over a course of 8 sessions.

The workshop will provide you an opportunity to:

  • Relax, play and get distracted from any pain you may feel.
  • Express any emotions that may be difficult to verbalize.
  • Build your self-esteem and strengthen your body image.
  • Cope better with stress, grief, fear, anxiety and depression.
  • Become more self-aware of your emotions and needs.
  • Communicate and interact more effectively with your family and surroundings.
  • Connect with others who are going through or have been through a similar experience and find comfort, freedom and hope through this support network.

Sessions will be lead by Myra Saad – M.A. in Art Therapy & Mental Health Counseling. No prior experience in art is required to take part in, or benefit from, art therapy. Confidentiality is highly respected.


WORKSHOP DETAILS The workshop will start in March and will take place once per week over 8 weeks.

  • Time: TUES: 6:30pm – 9pm OR FRI: 9:30am – 12pm (to be set based on majority preference)
  • Location: Artichoke Studio, Sin el-Fil
  • Fee: $145 for 8 sessions (includes cost of art materials)

REGISTRATION

Fill-in the following online registration form: http://goo.gl/forms/gQo2joKLyT OR download it (from here) and send it to us on: blossom.art.therapy@gmail.com Kindly note that places are limited!

Deadline for Registrations: Friday March 6, 2015


ABOUT US ARTICHOKE STUDIO is committed to providing art therapy for individuals, groups and communities seeking mental health and self-development, based on high professional and ethical standards. www.artichokestudio.org

ONE WIG STAND is a breast cancer awareness and support non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness among young women through its engaging campaigns and targeted support programs for patients and their families. www.onewigstand.org


For more information, please contact: 03-545281 or 79-158471

More than 400 Donors Make the Cut!

On Sunday October 19th, the central galleria at City Centre Beirut was a-buzz with crowds of people who had come from across Lebanon for one unified mission: to make the cut and donate their hair for women fighting cancer. Women, children, and even men, lined up for this opportunity to donate 20 centimeters (and the majority more!) of their hair at the hands of twelve talented stylists who were offering free cuts and styling on this special occasion.

Photo by Nareg D.B.

Photo by Nareg D.B.

In its second year, and following the wide success of its first edition, Make the Cut is a patient support initiative developed by One Wig Stand, and held in collaboration with L’Oreal Professionnel, to collect hair donations from the public in order to be able to make wigs for Lebanese women fighting cancer. Through the hair donations received, the organization is able to provide wigs to any patient in need (free-of-charge) to help them cope better with the dreaded side effects of chemotherapy and boost their self-image as they recover.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Charly Hatem

Photo by: Charly Hatem

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Adding a special touch: Pink ribbons were painted on donors’ nails by Essie – Photo by: Nareg D.B.

This special Make the Cut hair donation event, coinciding with the international breast cancer month, exceeded all expectations with more than 400 donors making the cut in one afternoon, including the renowned actress Marcelle Marina. Other memorable highlights of the day include two brave little girls from the Bekaa Valley who boldly shaved their hair off to shed added awareness to what patients go through when they lose their hair.

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Renowned actress Marcelle Marina makes the cut with stylist Souheil Haber – Photo by: Charly Hatem

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One of the little girls that boldly shaved her head at the event to support patients – Photo by: Charly Hatem

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Alongside everyone who came to cut their hair that day, the mall was full of those who also had come to show their support for the cause and witness the bold transformations, encouragingly cheering and clapping from the sidelines. Donors were additionally treated to a commemorative certificate for their contribution and a goody bag with valuable gifts from L’Oreal Professionnel, Kellogg’s and Essie.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

The busy, yet extremely rewarding, day was marked with fresh new looks at the hands of stylists who worked non-stop to ensure donors left with big smiles on their faces, bringing the final tally of the day to approximately 530 ponytails (including previously-cut donations that were also dropped off at the venue). This number should translate into at least 65 wigs at the average production rate of 6 to 8 ponytails per wig, which the organization will be coordinating with Hair & More to manufacture into wigs for any patient in need.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Nareg D.B.

Photo by: Charly Hatem

Photo by: Charly Hatem

View more photos from the event: Album #1 and Album #2.

Event Sponsors: City Centre Beirut, DIGIPrint, Essie, Hair & More, Kellogg’s Special K, Merlun Group, RTB Productions, Sakr Printing and Teleperformance.

Event Hair Stylists: Bare’, Georges Nakhle, Gilbert Irany, Jackyo, Joseph el-Haber, Juliano Asmar, Pace e Luce, Peter Abou Jaoude, Souheil Haber, Tony Obeid, Wissam Lebbous and Younes Eid.

For more information about Make the Cut, please visit: www.onewigstand.org/makethecut and www.facebook.com/makethecutcampaign

To inquire about a wig for a patient in need, please contact us on 79-158471 or 01-203112.

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.

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

HAIR DONATION GUIDELINES
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.

MAKE THE PLEDGE!
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!

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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.