By Erica Corsano
This year’s Breast Cancer Hot Pink Luncheon & Symposium at the Boston Harbor Hotel was hugely successful. Over 300 women attended and more than $400,000 raised for breast cancer research. But the main highlight of the event was Carol Chaoui, the featured guest speaker, who had a conversation with Honorary Chair Kelley Tuthill(and breast cancer survivor) about living with metastatic cancer.
Chaoui is 54 and has stage 4 thyroid and breast cancer. To generate awareness about the many women living with metastatic cancer, Chaoui runs marathons in a Wonder Woman costume and is planning on running the New York Marathon this weekend.
“Running helped me maintain a sense of normalcy during my treatments and kept me connected to the community,” Chaoui told us.
As for the amazing Wonder Woman costume, this real-life superhero says it’s about having fun and spreading the word about her disease:
“Since I can no longer run as fast as I used to, I decided it would be great fun to run in costume and I chose Wonder Woman. I have a special cape that says "Stage IV Needs More" on the back and it is a conversation starter and offers me the opportunity to help educate people about metastatic disease.”
Part of her message also includes how we refer to cancer patients. As a patient with two incurable cancers, Chaoui says that she will never be considered a "survivor" as she will most likely die from the cancers or the side effects of the treatments. Yet her outlook on life is utterly bright.
“I like what Stuart Scott said—that you beat cancer by how you live your life. I prefer the term "thriver" as I am living with 2 incurable cancers.”
Chaoui supports BCRF and their amazing work because of their dedication to research and their financial model. Over 90 cents per dollar goes to actual research—a number most organizations simply can’t claim.
Chaoui explains why research is key:
“Many breast cancer non profits focus on raising awareness. We are all aware of breast cancer. What we need now, especially patients with MBC, is more funding for research to find better, less toxic treatments and hopefully someday a cure.”
Founded by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1993, BCRF’s sole mission is to be the end of breast cancer by advancing the world's most promising research.
This year, BCRF is investing $59.5 million to support the work of more than 275 scientists at leading medical and academic institutions across 15 countries, making BCRF the largest private funder of breast cancer research worldwide.
If you’d like to support their mission, please visit www.bcrf.org.