The gala raised money for breast cancer and genetic research programs at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and for breast cancer education, advocacy and prevention in the United States. The evening followed up Paint Day in late October, when 35 women, many of them breast cancer survivors, had their torsos painted and photographed for the fundraiser.
The Big Reveal displayed 24-by-30-inch canvases of those photos and provided food, live music and auction items. CNN correspondent Holly Firfer served as the host and auctioneer for the live auction, which included paintings by Atlanta artist Gary Bodner, six bottles of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon and a trip to Napa Valley.
The honorees were Maxx Schube and her daughters, Rochelle and Alana, who all are positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation. Maxx and Alana are breast cancer survivors, and Rochelle had a double mastectomy as a preventive measure.
The Big Reveal program included the premiere of a documentary by Adam Hirsch showing Alana Schube’s journey with breast cancer, from chemotherapy sessions to surgery at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Maxx Schube thanked honorary chair Diane Alexander, a plastic surgeon who she said instilled in her and her daughters “the confidence that no matter how long the journey, that we would be whole again.”
“The real admiration goes to my two brave and courageous daughters, who each fought the good fight and were both willing to share their stories when called upon,” Maxx said. She added that “the journey is not over” and urged the audience to share the Schubes’ story with others.
Alexander specializes in cosmetic facial surgery, body sculpture, breast rejuvenation and breast cancer reconstruction. She said that 30 years ago when she was in medical school, a mastectomy was not done in a “pretty way.”
In spite of the improvements of the past 30 years, she said, “this disease keeps getting meaner and more vicious. Twenty-three-year-old women should not have breast cancer; 29-year-old women should not have to have their breasts removed to save their lives. And parents of those children should not have to watch them go through it. The Hadassah Medical Organization is making an extraordinary difference for our sisters, mothers, daughters and friends who have breast cancer or the genetic predisposition to have it in the future.”
To support breast cancer research at Hadassah Medical Organization, you can purchase wall prints, greeting cards, phone cases, throw pillows, shower curtains and duvet covers at atlanta-hadassah.fineartamerica.com. In addition, 24-by-30 canvases from this year’s and last year’s Big Reveal events are available by calling the Hadassah office at 678-443-2961.