How to Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Paris

How to Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Paris

Eiffel Tower in Pink

Five years ago one of my best friends was diagnosed with breast cancer, as has someone close to me every year since. To show our solidarity, my family and I participate every year in Octobre Rose.

Spearheaded by the Cancer du Sein, Parlons-en! (Breast Cancer, Let’s Talk About It!) association in 1994, Octobre Rose (Pink October) is part of the global Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign, which aims to increase attention and support for breast cancer, early detection (dépistage), and palliative care of this disease. The aim is to mobilize as many people as possible to join the fight against breast cancer and to raise funds for breast cancer research.

To kick off the month’s activities, the Eiffel Tower will be illuminated in pink on September 26 at 8:20pm, an event to be livestreamed on Facebook. Also to be lit up in pink is the Tour Montparnasse, which will remain pink and sport a giant, 43m pink ribbon on its façade throughout October.

© Wavebreak Media/Shutterstock


“Breast cancer is the top cancer in women worldwide and is increasing, particularly in developing countries where the majority of cases are diagnosed in late stages.”

– World Health Organization

The good news is that millions of women are surviving the disease, thanks in part to early detection and improvements in treatment. So, INSPIRELLE encourages you to join in the global fight against breast cancer by participating in some of the following Octobre Rose events in and around Paris! 

Walk or Run for the Cause

Breast cancer awareness month - Odyssea
Author with family at Odysséa event

Odysséa Walk or Run

On October 1 and 2, round up your family and friends and head to the Bois de Vincennes to join one of the annual Odysséa walks or runs to raise money to support the cause. Since 2002, Odysséa’s sports-oriented events have raised over 5,421,770 Euros for over 50 associations and organizations which work to help fight breast cancer through prevention and research.

October 1 at 2pm, 1km walk for children 5-12 years
October 1 at 3:30pm, 4km walk for anyone 5 years and up
October 2 at 11am, 5km “allure libre” (walk/run at your own pace)
October 2 at 9am: 10km run for anyone 16 years and up (medical certificate required)
Where: Hippodrome de Vincennes
CLICK HERE to register in advance online before Tuesday, September 27

Voyage au Coeur du Sein and Marche Rose

Take a unique, educational voyage through the heart of a woman’s breasts. Throughout the day, visit the themed exhibition village to participate in many sports and musical activities designed to inform the public about the benefits of early screening. Finish your day by joining a scenic 2-hour Marche Rose (Pink Walk), which kicks off at 6:00 pm.

When: September 29, 2016, Exhibits from 10am-6pm, Marche Rose from 6pm-8pm
Where: Place de la République
For more information regarding the program visit the Ligue Contre le Cancer WEBSITE. Entrance is FREE.

Shop for the Cause

Shopping solidaire team

Shopping Solidaire (Shop in Solidarity)

Not too sporty? Then you can still shop for the cause! Since 2009, Odysséa has been partnering with the Printemps Nation department store for Shopping Solidaire. Every euro you spend will go towards funding breast cancer research at the Gustave Roussy Institute, the premier cancer treatment and research center in Europe.

The concept: Printemps Nation offers customers a selection of around 15,000 products from participating brands at exceptionally low prices (average 30€). Then they donate 100% of the sales proceeds to Odysséa. In 2015, the store raised 120,000€, which they hope to top this year!

Participating brands include: Kooples, Maje, Sandro, Claudie Pierlot, Aubade, Printemps, Gérard Darel, Caroll, Cop copine, Devernois and many others.

When: kicks off on September 24, 10am-7:30pm, until stocks run out (so, hurry to get the best pieces!)
Where: Printemps Nation, 21-25 Cours de Vincennes 75020 Paris

cancer du sein logoLe Cancer du Sein, Parlons-en!

Evelyn Lauder (daughter-in-law of Estée Lauder and creator of Clinique) was one of the co-creators of the pink ribbon as a symbol for breast cancer awareness, and was one of the most energetic campaigners in the fight against the disease. Continuing Lauder’s philanthropic efforts, Estée Lauder France and Marie Claire magazine launched Le Cancer du Sein, Parlons-en! in 1994 to promote the importance of early screenings and raise money for breast cancer research.

Every October, many brands partner with the association to raise funds for the cause. Some of this year’s partnerships include:

Bobbi Brown has created the Art Stick Duo of lip liners in two different shades of pink, available starting in October. Bobbi Brown will donate 10 € from each sale to Cancer du Sein, Parlons-en!.

Kusmi Tea will spotlight its “Sweet Love” tea for the month of October, and donate a portion of its sales to the association.

Pandora is proposing a special collection of bracelets and charms throughout the month, and will donate 15% of sales proceeds to the association.

For a full list of participating brands, visit the website:

Or you can help by making a donation at:

Photos for the Cause

Octobre Rose Pink Ribbon Photo Award
Pink Ribbon Photo Award

Since 2012 Estée Lauder France has run the Pink Ribbon Photo Award to help make more people aware of the importance of early detection. This year’s contest theme is s’aimer (to love oneself). Entries have closed for 2016, but you’ll be able to see the photos of the 40 finalists displayed on the gates of the Jardin de la Tour Saint Jacques in the 4th arrondissement.

When: September 26 until October 16, 2016
Where: The Gates of the Tour Saint Jacques, 39 rue de Rivoli 75004 Paris

#MaVieEnRose Social Media Campaign

#MaVieEnRose is a public awareness campaign tied to the new slogan of the Le Cancer du Sein, Parlons-en! association, “Ma Vie en Rose, il faut que ça continue”. The aim is to rally women around a message of hope — that the best way to fight cancer is to fight for life to continue with a joie de vivre (joy of living).

Use social media to show your support!

  • Starting September 26th, Facebook users will be able to use pink filters for their profile photos and #MaVieEnRose stickers in Messenger
  • Use #MaVieEnRose to tag selfies with an expression of joy on your face on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and encourage your friends to do the same. Your photos will be featured on the association’s social media feeds

Donate Your Bras for the Cause

pink bra boxINSPIRELLE and our friends at Free Persephone Fragrance Day Spa are teaming up to join the fight against breast cancer by collecting used bras for the Pink Bra Bazaar‘s breast health initiatives!

Between October 1-30, 2016, donate your bras that are too old, too small or too large, and you’ll get a pink ribbon to show your support – PLUS – be entered into a lucky draw for prizes from Free Persephone and INSPIRELLE!

Gillian Szraga
Gillian left the States two years out of college to follow her not yet husband to Korea where she continued her work as a consultant, and then a teacher on the American Army base. After 6 years, a wedding and two children later, the family arrived in Paris home of her French husband. An avid tennis player, this mother of three can be found on the courts in the 17th, or on the streets of Paris where she loves to explore the off the beaten path boutiques of the City of Light.



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