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..
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
• 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