Chicago-land artist Laura Thompson of Savanah's Designs Glass Studio is unveiling of "The Faces of Breast Cancer" masks at the 36th Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, November 11-13th.
The two-mask glass set depicts both the darker side of the emotions that a woman might feel and face after she learns she has the disease, while also reflecting both the acceptance and positive emotions of strength, hope and courage that eventually emerge as she moves into the "I'm a survivor" mode.
The pieces were inspired by a recent personal experience Thompson had while attending the October "Lunch with Friends" for Francine's Friends Mobile Mammography in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
"The nonprofit organization who put on the event was Francine's Friends - an all-volunteer group of women who have not only upped the level of breast cancer awareness and the importance of early detection, but have also raised funds to purchase a mobile mammography coach to serve Fort Wayne and the surrounding area," said Thompson. "The coach comes to a variety of locations - and has provided screening mammograms for over 17,000 women since 2005, regardless of their ability to pay," she continued. What this means is women who are under-insured, un-insured, or simply want the convenience of taking care of their mammogram while the coach is in the parking lot of a public location or place of employment can take the "15 minutes to save their life" and not take time off work or worry about the cost of a screening mammogram.
Thompson was completely inspired by the program, the stories, and the 500+ women at the October event. She also toured the coach, and at the age of 47, had her first mammogram. "My creative juices just started to flow - and I thought - I have to do something to give back to this group and pay it forward at the same time," she explained.
A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this set will be donated to Francine's Friends to help pay for screening mammograms for women who can't afford one. If you're in Orlando this weekend, stop in booth #109 and see this beautiful two-piece mask set!