Breast Cancer is one of the leading health crises for women in the United States with 1 in 8 women being diagnosed. Despite the ongoing research, there is no cure for breast cancer. Organizations such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Protect Our Breasts are dedicated to educating young women about this disease. At Skidmore College, Lily Schwartzman, a passionate advocate for breast cancer awareness, leads the Protect Our Breasts club. She is a junior majoring in psychology with a minor in gender studies. This club meets monthly on the first Monday of each month at 8:15 p.m. Their next meeting will take place on November 6th from 8:15 to 9 p.m. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I had the opportunity to interview Lily, shedding light on her club’s efforts to raise awareness on campus about this disease.
- What is Protect Our Breasts and what do you hope to achieve within the Skidmore community?
“Protect our Breasts is a club that promotes environmental awareness for potential causes of breast cancer and helps educate and empower young women to make safer decisions about what products they use and the foods they eat. POB is a national organization which started at the University of Massachusetts by Cynthia Barstow after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Within the Skidmore community, we hope to distribute products to the general population in exchange for them to spread the word on the benefits of “why this over that!””
- Why did you decide to bring the club back to campus?
“This club was brought to Skidmore in hopes of educating the student body on how to make healthier decisions with everyday products. The club has been present at Skidmore since 2019 and was started by two Skidmore students interested in chartering the club. They saw a need within the student body for increased breast cancer awareness and education for college-level girls. This has been the same goal for Skidmore’s chapter of Protect our Breasts over the past 4 years.”
- How is your club increasing awareness of this disease within the Skidmore Community?
“Every month at our club meetings, along with the distribution of the products we will be presenting the scientific reasoning behind the benefits of these products. This allows our members to be exposed to information about the chemicals and toxins in their everyday products. With these presentations, scientific information is supported with discussions about how to make these healthier choices. By presenting this information and allowing members to share their personal experiences and interactions with science. This situation fosters a safe and inclusive environment for all members to be a part of in an effort to aid their education with breast cancer awareness.”
- Do you have any events happening this month related to Breast Cancer Awareness Month? If yes, what are they?
“We currently do not have any events planned for Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2023 due to finally finishing approving our club charter in the trial stage. However, we have already started brainstorming ideas for October 2024! This event will include product distribution supported by our original charter at UMass. More information to come soon!”
- How can Skidmore students get involved?
“We can get people involved by increasing populations of members at meetings and spreading the word about what we do throughout campus.”
- Is there anything else that you would like to share?
“We are excited to be moving forward with our charter progress and ending the trial phase. We are in need of more members, so if Protect our Breasts sounds good to you, please consider joining us.”
Brooke Lavallee, Vice President of Protect Our Breasts“I decided to join Protect Our Breasts because of the amazing mission and purpose of the club.”
Lily Tracy, Treasurer of Protect Our Breasts“Protect our Breasts is a great opportunity to build a community on our campus to educate and talk about using safer materials and healthier options” –