Throughout the month of March, STYLE Canada‘s focus will be on the power of women – as individuals and a community. One of the brightest and most true examples of women supporting women is the work of my charity, Pink Pearl Canada.

I started Pink Pearl after having my own experience with ovarian cancer at 21-years-old. I noticed a lack of support for young people that were dealing with cancer over the course of their twenties and thirties, which are the decades filled with life’s greatest changes like finishing school, starting a career, moving out of your parents home, falling in love, having a family, etc. Being diagnosed with cancer on top of all this is a game changer.

I was lucky that I had the support of friends and family. With that said, knowing that someone is going through a similar experience as you is a comfort I didn’t realize I needed. And so, Pink Pearl was born with a day long retreat in the Niagara region.

Since that first retreat over seven years ago, Pink Pearl has grown into a charitable organization that is led by a team of dedicated women. To date we have raised over $500,000 and impacted over 2,000 lives affected by cancer. We’re embarking on an especially ambitious year as we aim to provide support in additional provinces and cities including Calgary, Halifax, Vancouver, London, Kingston, and Ottawa.

If you’re interested in learning more about Pink Pearl, I encourage you to visit our website. And if you’re in the Toronto area, we’ll be holding our annual benefit at The Great Hall on Thursday, April 30. Tickets can be found here.

I’m a decade away from cancer treatment, but, there’s still issues that arise. Again, I’m fortunate that cancer doesn’t define me, but it’s a recurring thought and experience that comes up in my everyday life. At Pink Pearl, we have a statement that reads:

“Everyone has a story, and cancer is only one chapter.”

For some, the cancer experience may go on much longer than others’, but it’s only a fraction of who we are as women. 

While there’s an incredible personal strength involved in going through a cancer experience, there’s also a remarkable amount that we can gain from our peers in the same situation. On International Women’s Day, (Sunday, March 8,) and everyday after that, let’s celebrate women and the power we hold.

Elise xx

Elise Gasbarrino
Editor-in-Chief, STYLE Canada
Founder and Executive Director, Pink Pearl
[email protected] 

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