Breast cancer survivors to brave the stage in bras for Bust Breast Cancer

Published: Jun. 22, 2018 at 5:20 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2018 at 11:48 AM CDT
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Source: Woman's Hospital
Source: Woman's Hospital
Bust Breast Cancer founder, Heather Kleinpeter (M) with friends (Source: WAFB)
Bust Breast Cancer founder, Heather Kleinpeter (M) with friends (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA - The 2018 Bust Breast Cancer event is still several months from now but planning for the bra art fashion show is already well underway. Each year local models walk across a stage or runway showing off bras decorated by local artists as a fundraiser for Woman's Hospital's breast cancer outreach.

RELATED: Woman's Hospital: From birth to mammography, from cancer care to surgery

This year, the models have their own meaningful messages to share: hope, resilience, and survival. For the first time in the history of Bust Breast Cancer, which started in 2012, the models are all breast cancer survivors.

"Each one of them has a story and I think they're going to be proud to be on that stage to be a part of it," said Rose Marie Fife, Bust Breast Cancer Chairperson who is also a breast cancer survivor.

This year's chairperson for the models, Lisa Gilly, who is also a survivor, said that she felt it was important to have survivors model after she walked the runway in last year's event.

"It is so empowering regardless of what your body looks like. You're not what you used to be. For me it was just a very proud moment to say 'I made it. I'm here. I've done this,' said Gilly. "I wanted other people that get diagnosed with this to have that feeling, to really walk down that runway, and their family and their friends are there and they go, 'I made it. I'm here.'"

A meet and greet was held Thursday, June 14, where the survivors turned models mingled with the artists they are paired up with for the fashion show.

Despite some of the models having had mastectomies or reconstruction since their recovery, they plan to brave the runway by putting all that they've gone through in the spotlight.

"It's not at all about your breasts. It's really about being there and surviving and having gone through all of that," said Gilly.

The parade of survivors will be part of the fashion show at the Bust Breast Cancer event on Wednesday, September 26 at L'auberge Casino and Hotel.


  • Wednesday, September 26
  • 6 p.m. -  Preview party
  • 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. - Bust Breast Cancer event
  • L’auberge Casino and Hotel.
  • 777 L’auberge Avenue

Bust Breast Cancer includes a bra art fashion show, chef's showcase and silent auction. If you can't attend the event you can make donations online to Woman's.

All funds raised from these events benefit Woman's breast cancer outreach, including the Mammography Coaches. The coaches provide mammograms to underserved women throughout Louisiana.

"They do free breast exams and they have been proven to serve their purpose because they have detected breast cancer," said Fife.

In fact, according to Heather Kleinpeter, founder of Bust Breast Cancer, the first year of the event, a woman discovered she had breast cancer after utilizing the mammography coach that she learned about at the event.

"She discovered she had stage IV breast cancer and now she's alive and doing great," said Kleinpeter. "It was fun and we saved a life, and many more since."

Woman's Hospital currently has two coaches. The money raised at Bust Breast Cancer will go toward keeping them on the road, traveling around Louisiana.

"If you get inside the bus, you think you're inside Woman's Hospital inside the room where they do the actual 3d mammography. It's just like being inside the hospital," said Fife.

To find out more about BUST Breast Cancer email Melissa Curry or call 225-924-8749.

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