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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I was telling everyone to "feel their boobies": a breast cancer survivor

Leigh Hurst, 37, said she never intended to start a business when her cancer was diagnosed in 2004. She just wanted to spread the word among her friends and other young women that they needed to be serious about breast self-examination. "Basically, I was telling everyone I met to 'feel their boobies,' and when I walked with a group of friends in the Avon breast cancer walk in New York, I set up a one-page web site, put 'Feel your Boobies' on our T-shirts and printed an extra hundred to sell," she said. She sold all the T-shirts within minutes, and donated the proceeds to Komen for the Cure.

Her group was filmed by the Today TV show, and when she returned home to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, she started filling orders that were coming in through the web site.

After much thought, she decided her company should be a nonprofit, to raise awareness and encourage breast self-exams. She put her parents to work in her house, filling orders and handling customer service, and quit her job.

Advice: Find a way to raise others' awareness to prevent them from getting your disease, and help them detect it early, like Leigh.

Read another breast cancer survivor story, or read more from the source article by Marci Alboher in the Oct. 25 issue of the New York Times.

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