A lot of meaning can be placed behind a dress. A white wedding dress, once used to signify purity, now is a thing of celebration and new beginnings. A chic business suit is like a team uniform or even a suit of armour against the daily pressures women face while succeeding in the modern world. So when I sat down to design a special dress to go towards critical breast cancer care for women in Toronto, I wanted it to have special meaning.
I recently partnered with Sinai Health Foundation to create the HOPE dress to raise awareness about the importance of women’s breast health. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women and the second-leading cause of death from cancer. One in nine women will develop breast cancer and one in 29 will die from it. That’s why I’m releasing the HOPE dress in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.
I chose a beautiful hazy pastel fabric that seeks to wrap all women in hope, while also making them feel empowered and glamorous. The majestic pink and purple floral print symbolizes life, with each flower celebrating strength and perseverance. It ties effortlessly in a bow on the side, a beautiful contrast to the strength and perseverance of the woman inside.
Sinai Health is home to the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital, the first dedicated breast cancer centre in Canada. It was the first location in Canada to integrate all aspects of breast care in one place: offering women detection, diagnosis, counselling and treatment services. It now treats more than 34,000 women annually.
I hope the HOPE dress will make looking good also while doing good easier than ever. Philanthropy is crucial to making the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre a world-class facility. The proceeds from the sale of this dress will fuel research and enable the discovery of new treatments. Patient volumes are going up. Our partners at Sinai Health need to grow to meet the need.
For patients visiting the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre, the experience is different than visiting a large cancer hospital – it’s more like visiting a welcoming, home-like sanctuary that’s housed within a hospital. physicians have created some of Canada’s most effective support group programs that empower patients with new knowledge about lifestyle changes to help decrease the risk of cancer recurrence.
It also has an incredible vision to provide genomic analysis on every single patient’s cancer tumour. This will provide women with gold standard access to precision diagnostics to predict how their cancer will behave and personalized treatment that is matched to their unique needs. Your support will also allow Sinai Health to build a new chemotherapy unit and obtain a specialized chemotherapy robot to deliver rapid, efficient and accurate prescriptions and enhance patient safety.
Comfortable seating is also important for patients enduring treatment sessions that can last for hours. Patients who are receiving treatment can often feel cold because the fluids used for the treatment are at room temperature. Sinai Health has a vision to purchase specialized reclining chemotherapy chairs to provide warmth and comfort for patients receiving chemotherapy.
Lindsay Anne Delaney