Plate painting raises funds to fight breast cancer

Event raises money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Society

Cassandra Turpin shows off her printed plate during last year’s second annual Boob Print Night at Fired Up! Ceramics

Janna Gisler believes uniquely painted 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 the Oak Bay border.

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, who got the idea from a woman in the U.K., who was doing something similar to fundraise for breast cancer research.

“I took that idea and ran with it.”

The cause 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 for 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 hasn’t 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, she’ll never have full lung capacity and has been unable to work. Though she is cancer-free, her mother continues to take anti-cancer medication, which comes with its own side-effects.

Seeing her mother in pain spurred Gisler to raise both awareness and funds for breast cancer research.

“There’s all of this negative connotation around it (breast cancer) and a genuine fear of losing that person,” said Gisler, 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.

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 find someone who doesn’t know someone who has had some form of cancer,” she said.

Boob Print Night takes place 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.