Real Talk With Bright Pink CEO Katie Thiede

It’s our eighth year partnering with Bright Pink®, and our first year meeting their new CEO, Katie Thiede. We got to know Katie and what Bright Pink means to her— read on for our interview and find out how YOU can get involved with Bright Pink.

Real Talk With Bright Pink CEO Katie Thiede

Katie Thiede, the new CEO of Bright Pink. Photo by Jasmin Shah.

How did you first get involved with Bright Pink?

I was first introduced to Bright Pink a few years ago by connecting with Bright Pink founder, Lindsay Avner, over our shared passion for women’s health and I’ve been in love with the organization ever since! I cheered on the organization from the outside for years and couldn’t be more thrilled to now be on the inside leading us into our next chapter.

Why does Bright Pink’s message resonate with you?

I’ve spent more than a decade working in women’s health for organizations that exist so that women can live their best lives because I believe, and research has shown, that when women are healthy and strong, families are stronger, communities are stronger, and ultimately the world is a better place. That said, despite having worked for years in the field of women’s health, it wasn’t until I met Bright Pink that I became armed with the tools and resources I needed to shift my own awareness into action. I can now stand here and tell you that I no longer feel afraid of what might happen and I feel more in control over my breast and ovarian health and my own future than ever before.

Why is it important for girls and women to become educated on breast and ovarian health?

Research suggests that early adulthood is a critical time to adapt healthy lifestyle behaviors that will last a lifetime and we know that a woman’s risk for breast and ovarian cancers accumulates over her lifetime – so reaching young women at this pivotal point in their late teens, 20’s, 30’s and 40’s is the perfect time to educate them on their breast and ovarian health and to guide them in developing healthy habits that will enable them to advocate for their health.

Real Talk With Bright Pink CEO Katie Thiede

How does Bright Pink encourage others to take charge of their health?

In my mind, there has never been a better time for women to be their own best health advocates. The health care landscape is shifting almost on a daily basis, and people have so many questions. We can be an amazing translator for women, and amidst all of these changes, prevention has to be a top priority for us. Our approach specifically is to empower women to know their personal risk of breast & ovarian cancer and manage their risk proactively by practicing self-awareness, risk-reduction, early detection, and partnering with a trusted health care provider. Bright Pink’s digital tools, such as AssessYourRisk.org and Breast Health Reminders™ were created to make advocating for your health as easy as possible. And we’re so grateful Aerie is committed to getting these tools in to the hands of women too! Text AERIE to 59227, and Bright Pink will text you reminders to give your breast health the attention it deserves all year-round!

 

How can girls get involved with Bright Pink?

Bright Pink is always looking for passionate young women to get involved as volunteers or ambassadors and to help support our mission! We have 150+ ambassadors in 38 states and hope to grow that network over time so we can reach women all across the country with this life-saving education. Another great way to get involved, practice a healthy lifestyle, and fuel our mission is through Team Bright Pink, a community of 3,000 men and women who commit to run, lift or play while raising funds for Bright Pink. There are opportunities for everyone, from novice to elite athletes. We’re recruiting for the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and more, so considering championing our mission by joining our team! And of course, chat and connect with us on Facebook: @BrightPink Instagram/Twitter: @BeBrightPink.

Real Talk With Bright Pink CEO Katie Thiede

Katie at our Soho Pop-Up Shop for Take Care of Your Girls Day.

To learn more about our partnership with Bright Pink check out our #AerieSupports page or read more here.

 

 

 

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Real Talk with Lindsay Avner

We sat down for a quick Q & A with Bright Pink‘s CEO and Founder, Lindsay Avner, a national non-profit organization focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women.  Read on to learn more about Lindsay’s morning routine, her favorite Aerie Bra (100% of sales go to Bright Pink!) and Bright Pink’s Breast Health Reminder Text Program.

Who or what inspired you to launch Bright Pink?

I have a strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer. 11 women in my family have passed away from these diseases. With this information, I decided to undergo genetic testing to better understand my personal risk. The results showed I tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation giving me up to an 87% risk of breast cancer and up to a 54% risk of ovarian cancer. At the time, I was only 23 years old. I didn’t want to wait to get cancer so in 2006, I made history as the youngest woman in the country to opt for a risk reducing double mastectomy. Throughout my journey, I had a hard time finding resources for women like me – healthy women that wanted to take proactive action to live a healthy life. I started Bright Pink to empower women with the resources and information they need to be proactive advocates for their breast and ovarian health at a young age.

Life as a CEO and Founder can be busy we’re sure! What’s an average morning for you like?

All mornings are busy! I usually wake up around 7am and quickly check email on my phone, lying in bed. I get ready pretty quick and out the door within 30 minutes or so. I usually grab some hard boiled eggs and an apple that I eat while I am driving into the city and the best part of my job, is that from the moment I arrive each morning until I leave to catch a workout, I get to collaborate with my awesome team and our partners, and drive the strategy to save more women’s lives..

Real Talk with Lindsay Avner Shop now: Limited-Edition Bright Pink® Sunnie Demi | Move Twist Headband | Water Bottle | EOS Lip Balm | Nail Polish | Flat Top Round Sunglasses | Street Level Reversible Mini Tote | Ban.do Notebook

How do you de-stress?

Exercising – spin classes are my favorite!

Bright Pink created a tool to help you assess your personal level of risk for breast and ovarian cancer, can you tell us more about it?

AssessYourRisk.org is a 19-question quiz comprised of questions about family health history and lifestyle factors that play a role in a person’s baseline level of risk for breast and ovarian cancer. It provides customized results which include where the person lands on the risk spectrum from Average, Increased to High Risk for both breast and ovarian cancer, the factors that are working on her favor or not working in her favor, and most importantly how to take action. My favorite part – you can email the results to your doctor to have a conversation at your next appointment or share with a friend you love to ensure she knows her risk.

If you could debunk one breast cancer myth, what would it be?

Your Dad’s family history of cancer doesn’t affect you. This is so untrue. Your family health history on your dad’s side is just as important as on your mom’s side since we get 50% of our genes from our mom and 50% from our dad. Men can also carry and pass on genetic mutations—like BRCA—that greatly increase breast and ovarian cancer risk. Take the time to gather your family’s health history on both sides – Ask who had cancer, how old were they, and what kind of cancer was detected and use the information to assess your risk for breast and ovarian cancer and speak to your doctor.

Can you tell us about Bright Pink’s Breast Health Reminder Text Program?

Bright Pink’s Breast Health Reminders are fun, playful, monthly text messages reminding you to check in with your breasts, or “treasure your chest!” It’s important to check in every month to get to know your normal so you can notice when something’s not normal. Text PINK to 59227 to sign up. Don’t forget to text Y for “yes” to confirm!

Are you a Pushup, Lightly Lined or Bralette kind of girl?

Lightly lined like Bright Pink’s new Sunnie Demi at Aerie

Real Talk with Lindsay Avner What are ways our girls can be proactive with Bright Pink?

• Complete the AssessYourRisk.org quiz and share with a friend
• Visit ExploreYourGenetics.org, our new digital tool that demystifies the genetic testing process
• Sign up for Breast Health Reminders by texting PINK to 59227 – It’s just one text a month!

Thank you, Lindsay! To learn more about prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer visit Bright Pink.org. xo

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Real Talk With Heather Durcho

Ready for some serious inspiration? Get REAL with Heather Durcho, AEO’s Front Desk Receptionist. She fearlessly volunteered to share her story with us as we honor breast cancer awareness this month, and we can’t thank her enough! Read on to learn more about the shining face we see every day in our Pittsburgh office.

Real Talk With Heather Durcho

Hi, Heather! Thanks for chatting with us. Can you give us a brief intro to what you do here at AEO? 
I am the front desk Receptionist. I do a little bit of everything. Answer phones, check in guests, and help out with some HR responsibilities. I think I may have one of the best positions in the office because I get to chat with so many different people during the day. There is never a dull moment up here at the front desk. I have been working here since March of this year and absolutely LOVE it!

Do you have a favorite Aerie item? 
My favorite go-to Aerie items are definitely the cardigans and dusters. They are so comfy! I love that they are so versatile. I can wear one when I’m just lounging around the house. I can throw one on with a pair of jeans and head out to run some errands. Or I can even dress one up by adding a statement necklace and a cute pair of boots. Confession, I wore my favorite duster to work the other day and then slept in it that night! They are that cozy!

Real Talk With Heather Durcho

If girls want to see more of your style…where should they find you on Instagram?
My Instagram handle is @heddadurka.

What makes you #AerieREAL?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer (Stage 1 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) in March of this year. The first question I had for my doctor was, “Am I going to lose my hair?” Within just a couple weeks after my first chemotherapy treatment, it was falling out in clumps. I remember one day I went to readjust my ponytail, and when I took out my hair tie, I was literally holding my entire ponytail in my hand. I decided enough was enough and shaved my head that same day. I was just coming to a point in my life where I was really starting to love and appreciate my body, flaws and all. Then cancer swooped in changed everything. My hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes fell out. I became bloated and puffy from some of the chemotherapy drugs they gave me. I didn’t look like myself at all. Literally the only thing that did not change was who I was inside, and that is what I decided to hold on to. I was still the same person I have always been, it was just the outside that was different. It took me a little while but once I finally came to that realization, I felt so much better about everything that was going on. Learning that I am just as beautiful on the outside as I am on the inside is what makes me #AerieREAL.

Amazing. Thank you SO much for sharing. Now onto a lighter note. What book did you least read?
I am addicted to reading! My kindle goes with me everywhere. The last book I read was “Who Do You Love” by Jennifer Weiner. If you haven’t read it yet then go do it right now!

Real Talk With Heather Durcho

Shop Heather’s Look: Duster Cardigan | Tank (similar here) | Girls Rule Notebook (in store!)

Do you have any favorite fall recipes
One of my favorite things to do in the fall is cook on our charcoal grill. I don’t have any specific recipes, per se. I just love being outside in the crisp fall air, watching the leaves change and enjoying a delicious home cooked meal. However, this would not be a proper interview without me expressing my deep and undying love for a large, steaming bowl of mac and cheese!

Describe your personal style in 3 words: 
Classic, comfortable, girly.

Real Talk With Heather Durcho

What does #AerieREAL mean to you?
I’m sure being #AerieREAL means something different to everyone. To me, being #AerieREAL is taking what I have learned about myself over the past few months and helping others feel the exact same way. We are all beautiful!

Thank you Heather!

Tune in to our Snapchat today (handle: aerie) as Heather gives us a behind-the-scenes look at her day at Aerie!

Learn more about our partnership with Bright Pink®, a non-profit dedicated to prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer.

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#AerieSupports Bright Pink

We’re so excited to celebrate our our sixth year partnering with Bright Pink®, a non-profit dedicated to prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer. This year, we’re partnering with the Pittsburgh Steelers on a two-story breast cancer ribbon covered with more than 1500 Aerie bras!

Yesterday, more than 50 Aerie volunteers helped to build the massive structure, designed by local Pittsburgh artist Steve Ford, at Stage AE next to Heinz Field. After our campaign, Aerie will launder and donate bras from the sculpture to local women’s shelters in Pittsburgh.

Along with raising funds for Bright Pink’s life-saving education and support programs, we hope this ribbon encourages women to understand their family’s health histories and their own potential risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

#AerieSupports Bright Pink #AerieSupports Bright Pink #AerieSupports Bright Pink

“Our work with Bright Pink allows us to educate and empower our consumer about their health as well as share our commitment to #AerieREAL and body positivity!” – Jennifer Foyle, Global Brand President of Aerie #AerieSupports Bright Pink #AerieSupports Bright Pink

The ribbon sculpture was raised in front of Stage AE, where thousands of people will be able to view it from Heinz Field during Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh football games during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. It will make its debut at the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens primetime game on October 1. (Go Steelers!)

#AerieSupports Bright Pink

#AerieSupports Bright Pink

Visit your local Aerie store or Aerie.com to shop our limited-edition Bright Pink Bralette. 100% of proceeds will go to Bright Pink. Check back soon to learn more about Bright Pink and tips for being breast aware. Support your girls!

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#GoAskYourMother

Mom knows best—about her health, at least! That’s why this Mother’s Day, we’re joining our girls at Bright Pink to tell you to CALL YOUR MAMA! #GoAskYourMother about her health history so you can learn about your own potential risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Then share a pic of you and your mom with #GoAskYourMother  to spread the word!

Aerie and Bright Pink want you to #GoAskYourMother!

Aerie girl, Ally Walsh, and her mama support #GoAskYourMother!

It’s a sad truth that 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her life. Ovarian cancer is less common (1 in 67 women develop it), but far more dangerous: only 1/3 of women who are diagnosed will survive. The silver lining? When breast and ovarian cancers are diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate is more than 92%.

Prevention and early detection start with knowing about the health histories of the women in your family. So talk to mom, take Bright Pink’s new-and-improved “Assess Your Risk” quiz and learn more about your own body and health. Then don’t forget to spread the word! Share a pic with you and mom on Instagram or Twitter with #GoAskYourMother and encourage your girls to talk to their moms, too.

Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mamas!

xoxo,

Aerie

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Knowledge is Power! Bright Pink’s Tips to be Proactive About Your Health

At Aerie, we are so excited to be partnering with Bright Pink, a nonprofit organization that focuses on the early detection and prevention of breast and ovarian cancers in young women. The organization was founded by Lindsay Avner, a pretty powerful Aerie girl herself, who started Bright Pink while she was in her early 20s. Lindsay was frustrated by the lack of resources for young women of all levels of risk, so she set out to make her own!

Bright Pink’s mission is to help girls get the tools and information they need to be proactive about their health today. Check out the videos below as Lindsay sets the record straight on some common misconceptions, and gives her tips for being your healthiest self, right now. Knowledge is power!

Assess Your Risk

How do you know your personal risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer? Bright Pink has a 5-minute quiz that will help you determine just that. Take the Assess Your Risk Quiz today to find out your risk, and some lifestyle choices you can make to reduce it.

Is It Time for a Checkup?

You only need to see a doctor when you’re sick, right? Wrong! Lindsay explains how often you should be seeing your doctor to keep your breasts and ovaries healthy, and some questions you should be asking each time you get a checkup.

Ovarian Health 101

So, we hear a lot about our breasts at this time of year. But what’s the deal with our ovaries? Watch below as Lindsay explains the basics about ovarian health, and signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer to look out for.

Know Your Normal

One of the biggest myths of all is that there’s a “normal” when it comes to your body. Every body is different, and your body and breasts will naturally change over time. The key is to know YOUR normal. Lindsay gives some tips for checking in with your body below. Another great reminder? Text PINK to 59227 to receive monthly reminders to check your breasts!

Xoxo,

Aerie

 

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