Delight The Senses organizer Lucie Marlo (second from right) joins violinist Tatiana Kostour (from left), painter Rande Cook, jeweler Rafal Zebrowski and pianist Iryna Graifer gather to promote the Sept. 30 fundraiser. It will feature visual art, live music and jewelry, all to be auctioned off to benefit breast cancer research for the Canadian Cancer Society. Vadym Graifer photo

Delight the Senses in Victoria in the battle against breast cancer

Fundraiser assembles local artists and musicians to auction off original works

It was this time last year that Lucie Marlo got the scare of her life. Diagnosed with a tumour that would turn out to be benign, the Victoria nutritionist had a lot of time to think while in hospital recovering from surgery.

Faced with the big questions life can pose in trying times like those, Marlo asked herself what was truly important going forward. She says she was fortunate to have avoided a cancer diagnosis, but so many others aren’t so lucky.

In honour of them, she has assembled a group of artists to donate works to ‘Delight the Senses; Different Artists, Same Purpose’, an evening of fine food, live music and an art auction where 100 per cent of the proceeds will go to the Canadian Cancer Society in support of breast cancer research.

“The concept behind this event is something that’s been in my heart and in my mind for a really long time,” Marlo says, describing it as one of those “someday projects” she dreamt about. She started making calls as soon as she was well enough, and keeping an eye on her vision enabled her to find the strength to recover.

“Some day is now,” she asserts.

First Nations painter Rande Cook and Victoria jeweler Rafal Zebrowski will auction off original pieces created solely for the event. Pianist Iryna Graifer and violinist Tatiana Kostour will perform throughout the evening, and auction off private home concerts.

A painter herself, Marlo will auction a piece dear to her heart, originally created for a friend whose own battle with cancer was lost. “The only thing better than to do what you love most for a living is using your talent to make a difference,” she says.

Breast cancer survivor Tracy Young will speak about her family’s incredibly difficult journey through the disease. Carriers of the rare BRCA2 gene, Young’s mother and aunt passed away from breast cancer. While Young is now in remission, her daughter has also been diagnosed with genetic predisposition to the rare and aggressive form of breast cancer.

“I cannot talk to one person who in some way, shape, or form was not affected by this monster,” Marlo says, citing her own grandmother and a family friend among the women who have succumbed to the disease.

Her own surgery didn’t exist a few years ago and she credits modern medicine, propelled financially by events like this fundraiser. The number of women who have died from breast cancer has declined since the 1980s with the impact of mammograms and improvements in treatment. Still, it is estimated that one in eight Canadian women will be diagnosed with the disease, and one in 31 will die from it.

“I dream of a world where no child has to lose their mom to breast cancer; there’s been too many,” Marlo says.

Delight The Senses: Different Artists, Same Purpose happens this Saturday (Sept. 30) from 7 to 10 p.m. at The Atrium building, 800 Yates St. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased online.

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