Sarah Sirpless received some difficult, unexpected news last year. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called myasthenia gravis, tests revealed a thymoma, a cancerous tumor growing on her thymus gland, right next to her heart.
“It’s a very rare condition. There’s only about 900 cases diagnosed each year nationwide,” Sarah says.
Sarah underwent surgery to remove the tumor and her thymus gland and recovery was long and difficult. After she healed, Sarah found support through the Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF).
“The community I’ve found in Oregon Cancer Foundation’s Survivorship Series and it’s support groups helps me, personally, feel like I have a bit of control over something that I really have no control over at all,” Sarah says.
Paying it forward
This year, Sarah plans to participate in OCF’s annual fundraiser called Bras for Cause. The money raised helps the foundation assist patients in Lane County with all types of cancers—through emotional support programs and financial assistance.
“Your financial responsibilities don’t stop when you’re going through cancer treatment,” says Katie Burke, of the Oregon Cancer Foundation. “You still need to be able to put food on your table for your family; you still need to pay for things like rent, transportation and gas. The foundation’s Financial Assistance Program is available to help with that.”
The concept behind Bras for Cause is simple: community members and local businesses decorate bras, then their creations are showcased online at brasforcause.org and in-store at Dandelions Flowers & Gifts in Eugene, and the community is encouraged to donate by voting for their favorites. $1=1 vote.
Sarah admits she has never decorated a bra before, but she’s excited to take part, because cancer has hit too close to home, not only affecting her but also her family.
“My mom is currently going through breast cancer; she was diagnosed in June. I think she’s going to decorate a bra with me, and that will be a fun thing for us to do together.”
2018 Bras for Cause
Bras for Cause gets underway on Thursday, Sept. 13, with the first of two Build-a-Bra events. Bring your family, friends and co-workers, or come solo and enjoy an evening of fun. Bras and art supplies are provided – or bring your own, if you’d like!
Build-a-Bra event No. 1 (Best for individuals)
- When: Thursday, Sept. 13, 4-7 p.m.
- Where: Center Court at Valley River Center, Eugene
- Entry Fee: $10 per bra
Build-a Bra event No. 2 (Best for businesses and groups)
- When: Friday, Sept. 21, 4-7 p.m.
- Where: Along Came Trudy, 1486 18th St., Springfield
- Entry Fee: $10 per bra
Come see all the colorful bra entries on display at the annual Reveal Party at Dandelions Flowers & Gifts on Monday, Oct. 1. This event is free to attend and fun for the whole family.
- When: Monday, Oct. 1, 4-6 p.m.
- Where: Dandelions Flowers & Gifts, 1710 Chambers St., Eugene
- Voting happens Oct. 1–31, online at brasforcause.org. Vote for your favorites; $1 = 1 vote, and you can vote as many times as you’d like.
A fun finale
Bras for Cause wraps up with its annual Girls Night Out celebration. Grab your girlfriends and celebrate at this woman-inspired event. Enjoy dinner, music, a silent auction, games and a fashion show, featuring and celebrating local cancer survivors.