‘Gazelle STL’ cover highlights reality of breast cancer fight

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(Courtesy: Gazelle STL and Monokini2.com)

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A local fashion magazine is celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month in its latest issue and drawing attention for the cause with its cover photo – a woman proudly displaying the scar from her mastectomy.

‘Gazelle STL’ features women modeling the Monokini 2.0 (a swimsuit for women with one breast, created in 1964) and the fashion designers’ story behind the creation of the piece.

Cillah Hall, founder of ‘Gazelle STL,’ discusses her inspiration for the issue in the publisher’s note:

“The annual health issue is inspired by my close friend, Wabei Walusiku, who lost her five-year battle with breast cancer in early 2015.

“What I learned during the five years that my friend was battling the disease, is that cancer is real. It is not just a word. It is happening inside someone’s body. It is changing her physically, testing her will, testing her ability to endure. Every second, somebody, somewhere, is fighting for his or her life! This harsh reality that touched my life has changed how I view Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“To me and many others, October is not just a month in which people post pink ribbons on social media or register for a run or walk. It is not just something we acknowledge. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a reminder that somebody died, and more will continue to die. It is also a reminder that so many more continue to fight and remain hopeful that a cure will be found. That is why we too need to fight hard for them and for future generations.

“I am especially proud of our October cover because it represents the reality of many women who have battled breast cancer. They did not choose cancer. Cancer chose them, and in their fight against a disease that chose them, they gave up a part of their body in order to survive. That is not anything to be ashamed of. That is something to be proud of.

“If we are going to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let us celebrate every woman who is fighting a courageous battle. Let us remind them that they are beautiful just the way they are, and they should continue to carry the scars of their battle proudly.”

October’s special health issue also features stories and pictures of cancer survival and ways to help by donating to research for a cure.

The magazine hits newsstands on Thursday. A digital version is available now.