Original article: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/Check-Your-Boobs_9815355
While gabbing with the stunning actress Shauna Chin over cocktails recently, our tête-à-tête unexpectedly takes a poignant turn. It's been merely weeks since she lost her dear friend Racquel Harvey to breast cancer, and every so often, there are subtle reminders, causing her to pause, reflect, and even shed a tear. We complimented her hair's health, and in-between explaining that as a "tomboy at heart", she's really "not into the constant hair styling", there is a noticeable change in her demeanour.
After a quiet moment she swallows, takes a breath and shares that she's still in mourning. "I vowed after Racquel passed to be grateful, and to no longer complain about having too much hair to deal with, because I was there with her through the nightmare when she lost all of hers. It shattered my entire world, because I've known her since I was a child. I felt like I was staring my own mortality in the face... I just never expected it, and I felt so helpless, not even my nursing background was relevant."
And just like that, we are onto the subject of the big C. Conversation segues into her 'Check Your Boobs' awareness campaign, through which she urges women of colour (who, by the way, are most at risk) to take precautionary measures in order to detect the disease. "I have lost way too many family and friends, most of them young and vibrant, to breast cancer, because we don't have a culture of doing breast checks. It is unfortunate, because if it's detected early, it is curable," she tells SO.
The campaign features Chin reaching out to women through online periodicals, in which she teaches them how to do self-examinations, when to get a second opinion, how to take care of themselves when diagnosed, and coping mechanisms when their loved ones are afflicted. "You hear about it (breast cancer) constantly, but until it hits close to home, you won't be acutely aware of the threat. That's when it touches you in a real way, so Racquel's passing made me realise that I can do my part. And as a former ICU nurse who is now in the limelight as an actress, I can encourage ladies (and their partners) to do the checks every month and be aware. To realise that as individuals, you are responsible for your health," she concludes.
Visit www.shaunachin.com, contact her via Facebook at the Shauna Chin Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign fan page, or follow her on Twitter @shaunachin for more details.