Unapologetically titled – “Cancer Picked The Wrong Girl” is the impressive work of cancer survivor and mom superhero, Lauren Ward.
Lauren is the proud mother of three, including twins, and is married to her best friend, Davis Ward, of fifteen years. She currently serves as a consultant in business development, strategy and marketing, and volunteers with Girlstart, the Dyslexia Center of Austin, Northwest Austin Youth Basketball Association, and as the Cookie Mom for her daughter’s Brownie Troop. In between the chaos of running a consulting business and managing the kids activities, Lauren also loves to write, travel, SCUBA dive and play tennis. You could say Lauren knows how to keep herself busy.
Lauren is also no novice when it comes to cancer, BCRC, and Art Bra® Austin. She was diagnosed in February 2012 with Stage 3 breast cancer, just prior to her family moving to Dubai for a two year expat assignment. Clearly, cancer had other plans.
Lauren found about BCRC during her first appointment with her oncologist. Within an hour of reaching out, Lauren received a call from one of BCRC’s patient navigators at the time, Runi, and the two talked for an hour about her diagnosis, what she should expect, and what’s next. In Lauren’s words, “It was amazing to have someone so passionate, caring, and supportive on my team. And knowledgeable!” Lauren soon joined BCRC’s Pink Ribbon Cowgirls and has been a passionate supporter ever since. As Lauren describes it, “breast cancer in 2012 turned our world upside down, but it’s also given us joy, purpose, and strength in ways we never anticipated.”
So it’s no wonder she would inevitably become involved with BCRC’s signature event, Art Bra® Austin. She is now a five-time Art Bra® Artist and this will be her second year modeling. Though it would be hard to top Lauren’s art bra from last year, it’s possible she has once again outdone herself. “Cancer Picked the Wrong Girl” is made from screen, leather, silver jewelry piercings, and almost 600 individual guitar picks. That’s right, almost SIX HUNDRED! The picks were signed and sent in from almost a hundred musicians from four different countries (the farthest being AC/DC in Australia!). We’ve listed some of the most famous of these musicians below, but you can visit Lauren’s blog for a full list of contributors (it’s worth a look!).
Why guitar picks? Lauren felt inspired to create an art bra that represented the armor she and many of her fellow Pink Ribbon Cowgirls find themselves wearing when fighting breast cancer. She once saw a piece of brightly-colored armor that someone had designed for a modern costume play and said it reminded her of “all that we protect ourselves with during our battle with cancer: family, friends, love, good wishes.” In her art bra submission, she went on to explain, “The more that I looked at the piece of armor, the more convinced I was that I could use guitar picks – living here in Austin has given me such an appreciation for the contributions of the musical community and why this is such a great town. And, I loved having so many friends and family let me reach out to musicians, and involve the community in the collection. I felt like a warrior when I battled and this piece is a total representation of that. Lauren, Warrior Princess?”
Warrior Princess, she is, and it’s how we hope Lauren feels when she walks the Art Bra® runway on June 3rd modeling the legendary, “Cancer Picked the Wrong Girl.” Undoubtedly she will!
Some of the art bra’s famous contributors include:
Ace Freylley – KISS – CA
Adam Slack of The Struts – UK
Billy Gibbons – ZZ Top – Houston, TX
Brian Setzer – Brian Setzer Orchestra, New York
Chris Daughtry – NC
Christian DeWild – Christian DeWild Band – Folsom, CA
Dan Crow – Las Cruces, NM
Dave Murray of Iron Maiden – Maui, HI
Fran Cosmo (formerly of Boston) – New York, NY
Fred Gretsch (owner of Gretsch Guitars) – Savannah, GA
Jack White (formerly of the White Stripes) – Nashville, TN
Kevin Fowler – Manchaca, TX
Mark Evans – AC/DC – Australia
Pat Green – Fort Worth, TX
Paul Eason – Manchaca – TX
Psychadelic Furs – UK
Richard Broussard of Two Hoots and a Holler – Austin, TX
Sara Hickman – Austin, TX
The Sounds – Sweden
Willie Nelson – Austin, TX
Art Bra® Austin will take place on June 3, at the Austin Convention Center, 500 E Cesar Chavez St., Austin, Texas. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for cocktails, food service and silent auction, followed by the runway show and live auction at 8:00 p.m. General Admission tickets are currently on sale for $200 and reserved-seating floor and runway tickets are available for $250. Tickets are available at http://artbraaustin.org/get-tickets.
ABOUT ART BRA AUSTIN
Art Bra® Austin, now in its sixth year, is BCRC’s signature fundraiser. Every year, Austin’s talented community of artists, designers, and jewelers submit their original works of wearable art to be showcased by a dynamic group of Art Bra Austin models, creating an enchanting evening where everyone involved from the artists to the models and stylists donates their time and services. Approximately 60 to 70 pieces are selected from over 100 submissions to be offered for auction the night of the event. Top submissions are auctioned live during the runway show with winning bids as high as $8,500. For more information about this event and how to get involved, please visit www.artbraaustin.org.
ABOUT BREAST CANCER RESOURCE CENTER
Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) is a nonprofit organization providing guidance, education, and assistance to thousands of local women whose lives have been disrupted by breast cancer. Staffed by breast cancer survivors, BCRC helps each woman find her footing and determine the solutions that are right for her.