May Fakhriyazdi, Broadside Correspondent

Did you know that in 2009 alone, 269,800 women in the U.S. were diagnosed with some sort of cancer?

Did you also know that 15 percent of those people were more specifically diagnosed with breast cancer? According to the American Cancer Society, about 40,170 of those 15 percent will die from breast cancer this year alone.

Students who attended the 2009 Breastival held at George Mason University on Wednesday, Oct. 15 would have known these not-so-fun, but interesting facts.

This was the third annual Breastival held on the Fairfax campus. Many different organizations, clubs and individuals, (both affiliated and unaffiliated with Mason), worked to put together this event. It was run by exhibitors such as the “American Cancer Society”, “I’m Still Me”, “Young Survivor Coalition” and many more student organizations such as the Student Nurses’ Association and Zeta Tau Alpha.

“This year’s event was different from the years past in many ways. There were more interactive boob-related games, hot give-aways and new vendors, and the Bras Across D.C. campaign,” said Danielle Lapierre, assistant director of the Office of Alcohol, Drug and Health Education, who was on staff for the event.

Brestival, which took place in the Student Union Building I due to rain, was filled with booths and prizes, as well as refreshments. Stands were strategically located on both sides of the hall, encompassing anyone who entered the event to take a piece of the experience with them, no matter what.

Students from the Student Nurses’ Association were promoting early detection and prevention for breast cancer by giving interactive demonstrations on how to give monthly self-exams. Members of Zeta Tau Alpha set up breast- shaped cupcakes and offered them to those passing by.

“I’ve been [to] Breastival every year it has been here at Mason,” said Veronica Vivas, a senior and biology major at Mason. “I knew the director who used to be in charge, so that’s why I came the first time; but after coming once, I decided to come every year. It’s really interesting and a great way to raise awareness.”

Other organizations, like the Mary Kay Foundation, were also there promoting breast health and cancer education.

By simply filling out a survey, individuals were eligible to win a few gift baskets full of lotions, masks and body sprays, while learning that the Mary Kay Foundation gives part of its profits to breast cancer research.
The members of Breastival staff are now in league with radio station HOT 99.5 and the American Cancer Society, to conduct the “Bras Across D.C. Campaign”.

Bras will be donated by people around the Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. area. They will then be strung together and wrapped around the reflecting pool on the National Mall in order to raise breast cancer awareness and promote cancer education.

To take part in Breastival, attend the Breast Health Awareness workshops on Oct. 27 from noon – 1 p.m. in SUB I, Patriots Lounge and Oct. 29 from noon – 1 p.m. in the Johnson Center Gold Room by e-mailing Danielle Lapierre at