When Shaney jo, founder and CCO of Keep A Breast Foundation, reached out to us about getting some S.E.A. SUITS for their 20th anniversary fundraiser event, we couldn’t think of a more badass or deserving group of women to wear our most beloved jumpsuit… in the color Pink Moment, of course! Breast cancer affects us all — our friends, our families, the women and men in our lives alike. And there’s no more appropriate time to educate ourselves than right now, during Breast Cancer Prevention Month. So, we took the opportunity to ask Shaney jo a few questions, so we can all learn together…
What’s your mission at Keep A Breast Foundation? Where did it all begin?
Since the beginning, Keep A Breast has made connections with younger generations about breast health through music, art, skate, and surf culture. We meet young people where they are, and we empower them with the education to help them be their own, best health advocates.
I founded Keep A Breast 20 years ago after a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had no prior comprehension of how early in life breast cancer could strike. No one was talking about young people getting breast cancer. It was just something you had to get checked for after 40. When my friend Margaret was diagnosed, it flipped a switch in my brain. I realized that it was important to start this conversation with young people about breast cancer prevention.
Tell us more about your recent fundraiser and art auction.
Twenty years ago, I created the first KAB Breast Cast. Since then, over 1,000 have been made and painted by artists from all over the world. This year, we are so stoked for the Keep A Breast Nashville Collection, which features artists, musicians, activists, politicians, athletes, influencers, and survivors, all donating their works of art to raise funds for breast cancer prevention. The women in this exhibition represent strong, fierce, and empowering individuals. They were cast to honor women in their lives who have been affected by breast cancer, who they have lost to breast cancer, or simply to celebrate the healthy breasts that they have. They chose to be included in this exhibition to create a conversation around breast cancer in their communities.
Your custom jumpsuits look epic! What inspired you to rock our S.E.A. SUIT for the event? Do you feel as badass as you all look ;) ??
Omg these suits were a no-brainer! This year is the 20th anniversary of KAB, and we wanted to look the part :) We’re celebrating 20 years of prevention education for millions of young people around the world, and these jumpers add a much-needed pop to the occasion.
I love twinning, so I got five pink jumpsuits so the KAB team working in the gallery space for the KAB Nashville exhibition could all have a uniform that was functional and made it easy on the daily to get up and get going. We had them embroidered by our friends at Ranger Stitch to make them extra fun and fancy. We gave them free rein to make a custom KAB design. They even make one-of-a-kind boobie patches that benefit KAB.
Has art been an effective way to communicate your cause?
Through art, we are able to communicate complex feelings and emotions about a very serious topic and engage a community in self-care and activism. Art can change lives, make people think, and make people act. Whatever we do, art is always at our core. Even our art direction as a brand is core to who we are. Awareness unites our passions, and we use brand recognition as a form of art to create campaigns that appeal to younger people, help us achieve our mission, and help us raise funds to provide accessible breast health for all.
What are some stats we should all know now?
- About 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.
- In the U.S., breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women after skin cancer.
- When breast cancer is detected early, in the localized stage, the 5-year survival rate is 98%.
- 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump.
- According to the American Cancer Society, family history and genetics account for only about 10% of breast cancer diagnoses, and environmental factors account for the remaining 90%.
What are some ways we can reduce the risk of breast cancer?
10 years into founding Keep A Breast, prevention research revealed that only 10–15% of breast cancer diagnoses were caused by family history and genetics. Our Non Toxic Revolution program on our site gives useful tips on how to lower your risk by making small changes in your life. Early detection is key, and knowing your “normal” is how you know when something is wrong. Download the Keep A Breast app and do your self-check each month.
How can someone get involved and support?
This month, KAB turned 20. This journey has been paved with punk rock shows, one-of-a-kind Breast Casts, and passionate do-gooders. In honor of this, we created the Prevention League, our monthly membership program, where your donation will help pave the way for KAB to keep doing what we do best through programs that empower young people around the world with breast health education and support. Please consider joining to support our work and get fun perks along the way!
Photography: Jenn Curtis