A Canadian star focuses on the breast cancer cause

The statistics tell the story. According to the Canadian National Cancer Institute, one in nine Canadian women can expect to develop breast cancer during her lifetime – one in twenty five will die from this disease. In 1999, approximately 18,700 Canadian women will develop breast cancer and 5,400 will die from it. Breast cancer accounts for about one third of all cancers in women, and the majority of incidence occurs after age 55.

These are frightening statistics, but so much is being done to help raise our understanding of the disease. Here in Canada, publicity campaigns and events are going full steam ahead during October to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

One Canadian who’s been working hard to promote awareness is singer Bryan Adams. He’s earned a high profile in the music industry since breaking onto the scene in the early eighties. He became well recognized in his black leather jackets and white t-shirts; belting out rock tunes with electric guitar in hand.

The rock star lends his support
A few years ago Bryan Adams teamed up with supermodel Lynda Evangelista to help raise funds for breast cancercreening at St. Catharines General Hospital in St. Catharines, Ontario. But he didn’t stop there. With encouragement from Flare magazine, Bryan put his skills as a photographer to use for the breast cancer cause.

This month he launched a book of his own photos of Canadian women he’s met over the years. All royalties from the book, which is called Made In Canada will go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Adam’s book is a stunning visual profile of such noted Canadians as Margaret Atwood, Margaret Trudeau and olympic medallist Carolyn Waldo. And there’s Lois Maxwell, well known for her role of Miss Moneypenny in James Bond flicks. There are 85 profiles in all; actors, activists, artists and athletes alike.

One of the most touching photos is of one of his high school friends, Donna. She was in the throws of chemotherapy for breast cancer when Bryan took her photo. At the time of the shoot, Donna was tired, and worried about her two young children and her husband. Bryan Adam’s sensitivity is evident in his photography – the portrait of Donna is stunning.

Bryan Adams writes about his photo session with Donna on the website dedicated to his book. "She requested that I list her only as ‘Donna’ and leave her family name out. I have respected her wishes and felt many times throughout the year that it took to do this book that she was the inspiration, helping to guide me along when I wasn’t going to get the shot I wanted, and encouraging me to keep at it when people were understandably averse to having their picture taken. I think her portrait looks hopeful, but she was my age when she passed away – 38.".