2013 National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Muse: Natalia Marie. Photography: imagenix.

“October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so this month, SICK STAR is supporting the importance of monthly breast self-exams.

As an Art Director for SICK STAR, I knew I had this amazing platform to voice how important it is for us women to check ourselves for lumps. At the early age of 19, I found a cyst in my breast and was fortunate to have family in the health care field to help me get the proper treatment, diagnostic testing, and plan of action. Doctors knew it was a benign (non-cancerous) tumor but my family wanted to have it removed as a precautious measure. Within a week’s time I went under the knife.

It’s been 7 years since then but every month I do my regular breast self-exam checks along with getting ultrasounds. Working with SICK STAR gave me the inspiration and push to make it my personal project to get the word out to inform and help others. I’ve been blessed to work with such an amazing company where I can share my story and make it part of the SICK STAR family.

If you are unaware of how to properly do a breast self-exam, we shot with our very own Natalia Marie, showing you the basics. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their life. The importance of breast self-exams can increase your chances of detecting breast cancer in its early stages. I hope my personal story gets you to check yourselves monthly and stay healthy.” – Noell Hernandez

The end of 2012, we made and sold SICK STAR calendars for the next year, featuring images from our previous photoshoots (Kary’s idea). Part of the profits from the sale of the calendars were donated to the Susan G. Komen Fund for Breast Cancer Awareness. With all of our girls, their health and well being means a lot to us. Breast cancer strikes 1 in 25 women and many of us all know at least one person who has or has had the illness.

For 2013, we decided to do a shoot dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness featuring Natalia Marie. I told her to get some pink outfits together. We shot at my house in Las Vegas. We decided to shoot Natalia doing a breast self exam since most of the images accompanying the directions of how to do one from the internet are mainly drawn figures.

I talked to JJB who had a scare from a lump she found on her breast. Luckily it was malignant. I asked if she was willing to share personal story to post with Natalia’s photos. She was down. We got amazing feedback from breast cancer survivors and people that knew people with the disease or ones that also beat it.

We would continue the “think pink” theme every year for October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.