In the Bright Pink of Health with Giuliana Rancic

By Shane Emerson (HMM Model Management)
Images by Drew Altizer Photography & Nash Bernardo

As I donned my Pink Burberry shirt and prepared to attend Pink Fashion Tea under the Dome at Westfield San Francisco Centre to kick off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. After arriving at the event I was welcomed by the charming and courteous staff of La Boulange and presented with a lovely table setting where they served us delicious Hors d’oeuvres, tea and Sparkling wine.

This afternoon under the dome was turning out to be quite beautiful. Our gracious host Giuliana Rancic came out and spoke about her story which was truly powerful but what caught me off-guard, naïvely I guess, we’re the stories narrated by some of the guests who were in attendance. Each one had a uniquely admirable story about how breast cancer has affected their lives. What I felt was something I truly did not expect. Everyone hears the term Breast Cancer in media, events, fundraisers, and awareness campaigns; these organizations have done a fine job of educating us about it. I know breast cancer exists, but to be around so many people affected by it, all gathered in one venue, really struck me.

As the occasion carried on, I couldn’t help but feel uplifted to see how everyone was enjoying themselves, but the underlying tone affected me deeply. The day made me think of my own beautiful wife, my wonderful mother, and all the other outstanding women in my life to whom I owe much and are such an integral part of who I have become. I was then conquered with a slight feeling of anger within me because I couldn’t help but think how cruel this disease is as I look at all these amazing people, both men and women. But the negativity then gave way to a feeling of gratitude and determination. I value so much that I had an opportunity to attend this event. It was at that moment I became filled with hope because I realized that we were all working to achieve the same goals; an end to breast cancer as we know it.

While there are many worthy causes to be part of, I somehow knew I was meant to be at this place and time, and I now hope to be part of the solution in some small way. I left the event a better person with a better understanding of something I hadn’t given much thought about because I didn’t think it had affected my life directly. This Pink Fashion Tea event forever changed that, and for it I am eternally grateful.

 

 

 

Shane: What’s been the best thing so far about founding and starting Fab-U-Wish? – great name by the way.

Giuliana: Thank you! My husband Bill actually helped me come up with the name so I have to give him credit.  Fab-u-wish has been immensely rewarding; more than I could’ve ever imagined. I knew it was gonna be great and amazing but some of the wishes we’ve granted have just been incredible experiences. You’ve heard some testimonials today…

Shane: Yes, it was remarkable to hear and rather deeply moving to witness that much joy in them even though they are going through such tough situations…

Giuliana: Yeah but you know that’s what I love about Fab-U-Wish and that’s where the idea came up. When I was going through double mastectomy, I just felt like I wanted to give back and do something but you know it’s really about tapping into what you’re good at. I always tell people that – don’t just be successful in life and do you want to do or make money – but figure out what you’re naturally good and gifted in doing and use that for the greater good. My talent and accomplishment lies in fashion and beauty and building relationships and partnerships with celebrities to advance a cause so I thought that with all these, Fab-U-Wish can greatly benefit from me to cure these women’s spirits. The journey so far has been really wonderful we’ve been able to grant many wishes for these admirable women. So when I came up with the idea of Fab-U-Wish I immediately called Bright Pink because I knew they would be interested and could help me execute this idea.

Shane: There are so many great organizations out there that are dedicated to breast cancer awareness and research; for you, what differentiates Bright Pink from the rest?

Giuliana: Two things; being young and diagnosed with no family history I thought that Bright Pink was one of the organizations that really understood me because I was in their target demographic of the people they wanted to help. Bright Pink provided me tremendous help when I was going through my own breast cancer. What’s great about them is that they target young women. They’re really the only ones targeting women under the age of 40 so they were an immense resource because I was 36 when I was diagnosed.

The founder Lindsay Avner is now thirty but battled cancer when she was 23. She’s the youngest patient in the country to bravely opt for a risk-reducing double mastectomy with reconstruction. I guess that’s what really made me feel right about Bright Pink ~ because I knew that the organization would be able to relate to me and understand me and my needs. Secondly, being the host of shows which appeal to younger women I thought “Wow Bright Pink is a great organization to introduce to and educate my young female viewers. So it all just really came together perfectly and in turn we help each other and have fun doing it but at the same time provide an awareness that is not intimidating at all.

Shane: Hope you had a great time visiting San Francisco, any local spots you like visiting when you have spare time?

Giuliana: You know there’re so many great places to go here. I love this mall because it’s so nice and relaxing and the variety of shopping options is wonderful. My husband Bill actually knows the city more than I do to be quite honest. I’m not very familiar with the area but I adore downtown San Francisco. We’re big foodies – we love food; and in San Francisco there’s variety of superb restaurants but it’s not just the food that’s great but the ambiance as well.

For shoppers looking to get in on the fun and contribute to a worthy cause, additional teas will be held on October 20 and 27 from 2 to 4 p.m., La Boulange du Dome will offer a signature pink tea experience which includes a glass of rose sparkling wine and rose macarons, among other sweet and savory delicacies. Guests will receive a Tickled Pink Book featuring exclusive fashion offers from Westfield retailers, and enjoy special entertainment and informal fashion modeling vignettes.

Pink Teas Under the Dome will be open to the public with proceeds benefiting the many wonderful programs managed by Bright Pink, including Giuliana Rancic’s Fab-U-Wish.  Bright Pink is a national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, while providing support for high-risk individuals. For more information please visit www.westfield.com/sanfrancisco.