October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Here's how to help

Valerie A. Russo

More than 2 million women in the United States have been treated for breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in women.

This month is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and manufacturers and retailers are contributing a portion of their sales of designated products to organizations supporting breast cancer awareness, research and programs for women undergoing treatment.

“Anybody you talk to has a family member or friend touched by the disease,” said Lisa Marie Williams, owner of Lisa Marie’s Boutique in Marshfield. “My aunt, mother and customers have had breast cancer. I don’t have a lot of money to contribute, but I can use my artistic abilities and the store to help people.”

Williams designs bracelets for breast cancer patients and their caregivers. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society or the Friends of Mel Foundation, whichever organization the customer chooses.

Other local business owners also have personal reasons for supporting breast cancer research.

Clog Shoppe owner Dan DeRose, whose wife is a breast cancer survivor, contributes a percentage of his October profits to local breast cancer organizations. Designers and manufacturers of some products he sells, such as Cape Clogs, also support breast cancer organizations, making the purchase doubly effective.

New England Medical Fitting in Weymouth supports two cancer organizations through the sale of bracelets, key chains, eyeglass chains and bookmarks made by Ann Carr of Braintree.

New England Medical co-owner Shirley Hanlon says, “My business partner has a very close friend whose daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 20s. That’s why we support the Young Survival Coalition.

“We also support Learn, Live and Love in Scituate. If the patient needs something – baby-sitting, financial aid or a driver – she can contact this all-volunteer organization.”

Here are products you can buy to support breast cancer organizations:


Support the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer by purchasing an item from the Vera Bradley Pinwheel Pink Collection of totes, backpacks, handbags, wallets, messenger bags, duffle bags, cosmetic bags and accessories.

Prices are $10 to $84 at Daisy Riley Clothing & Accessories in Plymouth and at the Cottage Shop of South Shore Hospital in Weymouth.


Show your support by adding this pink ribbon charm to your Pandora bracelet. Featuring tiny pink gems, sterling silver and 14-karat gold, it sells for $40 at Daisy Riley Clothing & Accessories in Plymouth. This year, Pandora Jewelry will be donating $100,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.


Even if you’re not joining a fundraising walk, you can support breast cancer education and research by purchasing Pink Ribbon Clogs by Cape Clogs of Bourne. These handmade Swedish clogs with stapled alder wood soles and leather uppers are $76 at the Clog Shoppe in Weymouth.

Your purchase supports local breast cancer organizations and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which provides mammograms to women in need.


This racerback sports bra from Gracie’s Gear has a zippered pouch sewn into the garment for easy access to iPod, keys or phone for gals on the run. The pink-and-black lined top comes in four sizes (S to XL) and two styles, short ($36) and long ($40).

The company is giving 30 percent of all online purchases to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.


The 40-millimeter Master Lock Pink Padlock from Master Lock, $5.49, is available at Target stores in Abington and Taunton.

Master Lock is helping to unlock a cure for breast cancer by donating $10,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


Give dust bunnies the boot with the Oreck XL hypo-allergenic vacuum on sale for $429.99 at Oreck Clean Home Centers in Braintree, Brockton and Plymouth. This 8-pound upright, featuring dirt pick-up and allergen filtration and bacteria and odor control, comes with a 5-pound canister for cleaning stairs, a 10-year warranty and 10 free annual tune-ups. With every purchase, $50 is donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.


Come prepared to shop with a reusable pink bag ($1) from Shaw’s Supermarkets. Your purchase benefits the New England affiliates of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists who are fighting to save lives, ensure quality care and fund research.


The One Tough Cookie cotton twill baseball cap, created by Darling Mummy to honor a friend who succumbed to breast cancer, sells for $24.95 at the Hingham Gift Company in Hingham Square. The Pink Ribbon Cap ($12) is available at the BMW Gallery in Norwell. Both purchases support Susan G. Komen for the Cure.


A bevy of beaded bracelets include the designs of Ann Carr of Braintree ($30 and $60 at New England Medical Fitting, Weymouth; supports Young Survival Coalition and Learn, Live and Love); Lisa Marie Williams of Pembroke ($40-$65 at Lisa Marie’s Boutique, Marshfield; supports the American Cancer Society and the Friends of Mel Foundation); B N Pink of Cohasset ($75 and up at the Cottage Shop of South Shore Hospital; supports patient care and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation) and EK Designs of Cohasset ($110 at the Cottage Shop of South Shore Hospital; supports patient care and the Gal to Gal Foundation).


Your purchase of Everyday Walker pink padded socks from Thorlos – $15.99 at the Clog Shoppe in Weymouth – supports your choice of breast cancer organization. See


Get ready for holiday entertaining with the KitchenAid Artisan 5-quart stand mixer on sale for $299.99 at Kohl’s in Hingham.

KitchenAid will donate $50 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for every purchase of this 10-speed pink mixer with stainless steel bowl and flat beater, dough hook and wire whip attachments and 10 percent of the purchase price of other KitchenAid Cook for the Cure products.


Mel’s Bracelet ($15 at the Clog Shoppe, Weymouth; supports the Friends of Mel Foundation) and Classic Viva Beads Pink Ribbon Bracelets ($16 at Mono Mono Boutique, Marshfield; supports the American Breast Cancer Foundation).


Bonnie Marcus has stylish notepads for every mother – from yoga moms to juggling moms. The 3 3/4-inch by 9-inch magnetic notepads are $7 each at Social Graces in Hingham. Your purchase supports the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


“Forever, for always, no matter what” is the message on the 15-ounce, hand-painted Friend for Life mug, which sells for $12.99 at the Hingham Gift Company in Hingham Square. Your purchase supports the Creative Center, an organization bringing creative arts to people living with cancer.


A silk wristlet featuring beautiful flowers by photographer Deni Johnson of Duxbury sells for $25 at Snow Interiors at Nine in Duxbury and Arla’s Floral Boutique in Pembroke. Your purchase supports the Duffy Family Breast Cancer Research Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.


Help wipe out breast cancer by wiping your feet on the stain- and water-resistant, machine-washable welcome mats sold at Harry’s Carpet One Floor and Home store in Quincy. Carpet One is donating 25 percent of mat sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Available in several patterns, the 24-inch by 30-inch mats are $19.99 each.


The Cancer Vixen Survival Kit tramples adversity and stomps on negativity with five products from C.O. Bigelow: Mentha Lip Tint in Pink Mint; Lemon Cream Body Wash; Mentha Tingling Foot Cream; Lemon Body Cream; and Quincy Hand Lotion. The beauty kit is  $29.50 at Bath and Body Works stores in Braintree, Brockton, Canton, Hanover, Kingston, Plymouth and Taunton. C.O. Bigelow is donating $250,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


This drink koozie with embroidered pink ribbon, the universal symbol of breast health awareness, will keep your drink cold and your hands warm. Made by Ellie’s Embellishments of Marshfield, it sells for $12 at the Mono Mono Gift Boutique in Marshfield. Purchases support Susan G. Komen for the Cure.


Turn your introverted iPod into a party animal with this HMDX Speaker-on-the-Go. The portable speaker case offers high-quality sound via two slim speakers while it protects your MP3 player. This tech-cessory sells for $9.99 at Linens ‘N Things in Braintree, Weymouth, Mansfield, Taunton and Wareham. Your purchase supports the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


Next time you’re having a bad hair day, think about cancer patients who have lost their tresses during chemotherapy.  Lily’s Apothecary in Plymouth is donating $1 from every sale this month of Bumble Classic Aerosol Hairspray ($13 for 4 ounces; $21 for 10 ounces) to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


Moisturize and protect your skin from damaging UVA and UVB rays with Daily Sun Defense SPF 20 from SkinCeuticals ($35 for 3 ounces) or RAD Sunscreen SPF 16 from Environ Skin Care ($35 for 2.6 ounces). Bella Derma Aesthetics in Braintree will donate $5 to a local breast cancer organization for each bottle of sunscreen sold this month.


When President George H.W. Bush was seen looking at his watch during his 1992 presidential debate, it may have cost him the election. Don’t let that happen to you – place a TimeMug on the podium. The world’s first dishwasher-safe, time-telling tumbler featuring a stainless steel interior, rubber lid, easy-sip slide tab and slip-resistant base sells for $30.95 at the Friendly Shop of South Shore Hospital. Your purchase supports patient care and breast cancer research.


Try on Tummy Tuck Jeans – the drop-a-size denims that flatten the stomach, smooth curves and lift the derriere – and the manufacturer will donate $1 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure (no purchase required). The jeans start at $99 at Posh of Easton and Collections on Court in Plymouth.


- American Breast Cancer Foundation,

- Breast Cancer Research Foundation,

- Breast Care Center at South Shore Hospital,

- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute,

- Friends of Mel Foundation,

- Gal to Gal Foundation,

- Learn, Live and Love Cancer Outreach,

- National Breast Cancer Foundation,

- Susan G. Komen for the Cure,

- The Creative Center,

- Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, BreastCancer.aspx

- Young Survival Coalition,