In tonight's HealthierMe, and in honor of breast cancer awareness month...
Sometimes a sense of humor is the best medicine, and thanks to local artist and a book she created featuring bras and stories of survival, women fighting breast cancer have a reason to smile. It's inspiring a lot of people to laugh even when times are tough.
Kim Wagner is one such survivor, and though she admits that "the initial diagnosis was very scary," she eventually came to a different conclusion. "I wouldn't want to go back to life before cancer," she says. "It's made me a better person."
She's not alone. Kim has interviewed more than 50 women for a special breast cancer survival book which would go to raise money for Sanford's cancer survivorship program.
"The whole point of the book," according to Kim, "is to make people laugh and smile."
Meg Spielman Peldo provided the humor for the book and says the local Bras on Broadway fundraiser inspired her to have fun with bras as art. The book's name - "No Lumps, Thank You" - came to her right away.
"I knew I wanted to do something with teacups," Meg explains. "Nice rack is obvious... But some are not. Like hot ta tas."
30 different pictures of bras were matched with cancer survivors' stories, and the women's most intimate experiences are perfectly supported by Meg's pictures -- so well, in fact, that the fit even amazed Meg. "I was really surprised, when we had the pictures laid out, how well they actually fit," she tells us. "It was very eye opening."
Sanford oncologist Dr. Shelby Terstriep also sings the book's praises. "The art is so uplifting, and we often see so much heaviness in the cancer center," she explains. "It's not all heaviness. There's laughter." Dr. Shelby says she loves the book more and more every time she looks at it.
Kim says the book is incredibly valuable because it shows the lighter side of the cancer journey -- a journey she is proud to have experienced. "This isn't a club I thought I would be a member of," she admits, "but it has a lot of amazing members."
Interested? Kim tells us the book is available in a number of places including Sanford Health gift shops, Zandbroz Variety in downtown Fargo, and online at Meg's website, NoLumpsThankYou.com.
If you would like to see more of Meg's bra art, you can go to a free reception and book launch at the Plains Art Museum tomorrow night, October 18, 2012. It runs from 5 to 8. Meg's gallery talk is at 6.