Estee Lauder Companies lit up the Helix Bridge and the Art Science Museum on 5 October in celebration of 20 years of the company’s Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.
By Yeo Zhi Qi
People passing by Marina Bay Sands last Friday evening (Oct. 5) would have done a double take at the sight of Singapore’s iconic landmarks illuminated in a bright glowing pink. Nope, it was neither the haze nor their eyes playing tricks on them.
The Helix Bridge and Art Science Museum were indeed glowing pink that night. At 7.30pm, torch bearers dressed in pink sprinted across the Helix Bridge as pink lights appeared. The light-up continued as the group descended down a flight of steps and passed the torch to Guest-of-Honour Dr Amy Khor, Minister of State for Ministry of Health and Manpower, who lit up the Art Science Museum in a pink glow.
The illumination of these iconic structures is part of the Estee Lauder Companies’ annual global campaign that illuminates landmark monuments around the world in glowing pink to advocate breast health and early detection. This year’s Illuminate event is a special one: it is the 20th anniversary of the campaign and it also celebrated the life and legacy of Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign Founder and Pink Ribbon co-creator, the late Mrs. Evelyn H. Lauder.
More than 200 guests, including key media and celebrities, were treated to the laser and light show. The illumination of the Art Science Museum joins the ranks of over 200 global landmarks that have similarly been illuminated for this initiative, including Harrods of London and the Taj Mahal in India.
Renowned local celebrity Sharon Au hosted the event, lending her support to this year’s campaign message: “Courage. Believe in a world without breast cancer. Know we’re here until it’s true.” One in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, and this year’s message highlights The Estee Lauder Companies’ 20-year commitment to defeating breast cancer through education and medical research.
While sipping on pink champagne, invitees also enjoyed a fashion show like no other. The featured models in this catwalk parade are breast cancer survivors who took the runway for the night to celebrate life after diagnosis. One of the models strutting down the runway was winner of Singapore Woman of the Year 2012, Ms Theresa Tan who sashayed and struck poses with her daughter.
Ms Tan was diagnosed with an early stage of breast cancer (known as DCIS – or ductal carcinoma in-situ) in June 2010 and underwent surgery. Describing her journey to recovery, she tells City News, “I leaned on the Lord every step of the way. His mercies were and are new for me every morning. From being bent over, I eventually stood up straight. From shuffling small painful steps, I am now running. He has renewed my strength like the eagle’s.”
With breast cancer being the most common cause of cancer in women, Ms Tan said that a positive mindset is any cancer patient’s greatest weapon and encouraged breast cancer patients to continue believing in the best- that they would survive and thrive after cancer.
The mother of three did not simply rest on her laurels after recovery. Seeing the positive response to her blog, which she started to document her journey in battling the disease, she decided to pen her thoughts down in a book, as a convenient medium to share her experience with other women. Titled A Clean Breast, the book is scheduled to launch in November.
Besides the illumination of iconic landmarks, The Estee Lauder Companies launched an inaugural online auction to raise funds for Singapore’s Breast Cancer Foundation. Bidders can look forward to getting their hands on personal items belonging to celebrities, such as a dress from Michelle Chong’s Already Famous (2011).
Nicole Tay, co-chair of this year’s BCA committee said, “We want to take a step further this year with new initiatives such as the online Charity Auction where we partnered with local celebrities to help create greater awareness since this is our 20th Anniversary of the campaign.”
The audience was also treated to a live painting performance by Japanese artist, Takeshi Sato who painted, to the tempo of a pop song, a portrait of Mrs Evelyn H. Lauder, as a tribute to her unwavering support in raising awareness of breast cancer.
The night did more than adding a new touch to the city skyline. It raised awareness of breast cancer amongst the general public, but more significantly, it renewed the hopes of struggling breast cancer patients.