Janna Gisler believes painting boobs on plates can help make a difference in the world.
For the past two years, the 28-year-old has organized Boob Print Night at Fired Up! Ceramics on Fort Street.
As part of the event, which raises funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Society, women choose from a plethora of plates ranging from $12 to $90. Women go into a private printing booth where they paint on their breasts, then press it onto a plate and decorate it.
“I knew that I wanted to do some sort of fundraiser for breast cancer awareness,” said Gisler, adding she got the idea from a woman in the U.K., who was doing a similar thing to fundraise for breast cancer research. “I took that idea and ran with it.”
The cause is one that is close to Gisler’s heart. In 2011, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy. Over the next six months, Gisler never left her mother’s side, often travelling with her to receive radiation treatment at the Vancouver Cancer Agency — a time she described as a blur.
But the radiation has taken a toll on her mother’s body and she has not been the same since. In the beginning, she had burns on her skin, which made it impossible for her to wear a shirt. In the long-term, her mother will never have full lung capacity and has been unable to work. Though she is cancer-free, her mother continues to take anti-cancer drugs, which come with its own set of side effects.
Seeing her mother in pain spurred Gisler to both increase awareness and help fund breast cancer research.
“There’s all of this negative connotation around it (breast cancer) and a genuine fear of losing that person,” said Gisler, who is the mother of two young sons. “I wanted to make sure that there was funding going towards making sure other people might not need to go through what our family went through.”
Last year, Boob Print Night had roughly 50 participants who helped raise $550. This year, while Gisler hopes to achieve a similar financial goal during the third annual event, she also hopes participants will leave with a sense of camaraderie and inspiration that they can help fight cancer.
“In this day and age, it’s hard to be someone who doesn’t know someone who has had some form of cancer,” she said.
Boob Print Night takes place on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Fired Up! Ceramics (1801 Fort St.) beginning at 7 p.m. It is a drop-in event and half of the proceeds go towards the Canadian Breast Cancer Society. For more information visit firedupceramics.ca or call 250-818-4543.