Sara Daly Roter is a Creative Director and New York City Education Ambassador for Bright Pink, a non-profit focused on breast and ovarian cancer awareness and prevention in young women by empowering them to live proactively. She has been featured on the Today Show, CBS, and Shape magazine.
Tell us about what you do as a BP ambassador.
SR: As a Bright Pink ambassador I present Brighten Up® Educational Workshops to various gatherings in NYC, educate on the basics of breast and ovarian health, introduce and encourage the group to live a proactive lifestyle, incorporate early detection and prevention tools into their lifestyle as well as equip them with life-saving knowledge that will inspire them to take action right away.
How did you become involved with Bright Pink? What inspired you?
SR: With a long line of breast cancer in my family, my mother as well as both grandmothers were diagnosed (and thankfully survived!) and after my mother tested positive for the BRCA 1 genetic mutation, I decided to test as well...and it was positive. After a few years of sitting on this information, in 2007 I opted for a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. At that time there was not much of an option to seek support and encouragement from women like myself. My husband, only about a year at that time, (and just celebrated our 11 year anniversary) helped find Lindsay Avner. After spending hours on the phone with her, all I wanted to do was get through my surgery and help support her and her mission at Bright Pink. Once healed and ready to get out there, I began outreach programs in NYC (as BP was based only in Chicago at that time). With each young woman I met, it helped support me just as much as we were offering support for them. So it continues even today, reaching out with the Brighten Up presentation offers more medical support and facts as well as my personal story.
Why do you feel it's important to share this information?
SR: I feel its important to share this information, not to encourage women to have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, but to be proactive with their health, understand their own norm and know the right questions to ask when they visit with their doctor. If I am able to share my story, I open myself up for questions and become approachable for other young women that may not know what options they have.
What is something most women would be surprised to learn?
SR: What I find most women are surprised to learn is how far their breast tissue actually reaches…
What are some things we can start doing today to decrease our risk of breast and ovarian cancer?
SR: Again, I am not a doctor, however our Brighten Up presentation is in collaboration with doctors across the country. I always encourage women to see their doctor today to get a baseline what their “norm” is, this way they are in the best situation to detect when something is not normal right away! Most importantly...have a good doctor!
What does Bravery mean to you?
SR: To be brave, or show bravery, it is about embracing what is right (for you) even if it scares you. Knowing when it’s all over, you will feel a sense of empowerment and relief at the same time. In the end, you will be stronger for your decisions.
If you could have dinner with one Brave babe, alive or dead, who would it be?
SR: I am sure my answer here could be a bit deeper, to be honest...Lady Gaga!
What's your life motto?
SR: Be inspired to inspire others.
What advice would you give to the next generation of Brave girls?
SR: Be brave for yourself, your family and friends. However, you must make smart choices and do what is right for you.
If you could be transported to any place right now, where would you most like to explore?
SR: A beach in Australia...just because.
What can we do in our everyday lives to improve the position of women worldwide?
SR: We need to stick together, support one another and be confident in who we are.
You're about to embark on a month-long journey with only a backpack. What do you pack?
SR: My two girls and hubby :) ...and more of an answer that you are probably looking for... bobby pins, chapstick, a cozy scarf, white t-shirts, hydrating mist, body oil, water, bottle of Pinot Grigio, chocolate trail mix and my headphones. If my family is not with me...clearly photos of them and an article of clothing with their scent. :)