Today, we introduce to you Claire Zeppieri…an inspirational breast cancer survivor who loves color (and color therapy) as much as we do! Thank you, Claire, for sharing your story with us.
Q) What is your breast cancer story?
A) I was diagnosed with breast cancer about eight years ago, in my early 40s. My breast cancer was detected through my annual mammogram. The diagnosis came as a complete surprise to me, as my family has no history of cancer. My situation underscores the reality that anyone can get cancer. During my treatment, I tried to live my life as normally as possible; I continued to work and received the support of colleagues, friends, and family. One of the most difficult challenges in dealing with cancer was the loss of my hair through chemotherapy – an outward symbol of my condition. I decided to make the best of the situation through cherished memories of my grandmother and the exquisite palette of scarves she passed on to me, which I proudly wore (along with my Lilly!) during treatment. I was not afraid to seize life while undergoing my treatment – and through this endurance I’ve worked to inspire other people.
Q) What advice can you give to women about screening and early detection?
A) Don’t let fear and inconvenience step in between your regular screening exams. You only have one life and we’re all very fortunate to have early detection so easily accessible. Many women don’t think cancer is going to hit them or they let fear get the best of them. They don’t realize that modern science has fast-forwarded cancer survival rates, in large part to early detection, which is crucial. Advanced cancer is much more difficult to treat.
Q) How have you brought awareness to the breast cancer cause?
A) I shared my success story by participating in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® and Relay For Life® events in my community. The events were highly emotional for me because I was walking alongside fellow cancer survivors. The strength in numbers made me realize how many other brave people are going through similar survival experiences. The American Cancer Society events motivated me to add momentum to the cause of creating a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays – facilitating much-needed fundraising for research, advocacy, and patient service programs is essential.
Q) What is your favorite memory in Lilly Pulitzer?
A) So many … but for certain, when I was married on the beach in Nantucket wearing a favorite Lilly Pulitzer skirt in my signature color- pink
Q) How has Lilly helped you live a more colorful life?
A) Through color, you are able to channel positive energy and various moods. Fashion outwardly expresses this joy to others; and quite simply, Lilly’s colors make me feel bright and cheery. The designs energize me with a smile; they’re like sunshine! Bright colors help inspire me to be more creative and light.