Bright Pink Founder, Lindsay Avner Encourages Cancer Awareness

Lindsay Avner is the founder and CEO of Bright Pink, a national nonprofit whose innovative programs educate and equip women ages 18 to 45 years old, and the medical professionals who care for them, to reduce their risk for breast and ovarian cancer or to detect those diseases at early, non–life-threatening stages.

Lindsay was no stranger to breast and ovarian cancer. When she was only 12 years old, she watched her mother fight both diseases, and before she was born, she lost both her grandmother and great-grandmother to breast cancer. In June 2005, test results indicated that Lindsay had a high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Vowing not to let the disease strike her as it had three generations of women before her, she chose to undergo a risk-reducing, prophylactic double mastectomy with reconstruction. At age 23, Lindsay was the youngest patient in the United States to bravely opt for this procedure.

During her experience, Lindsay was frustrated by the lack of resources for women in her specific situation. Armed with optimism and dedication, she founded Bright Pink in January 2007. The goal was to share her experience and resources with the 52 million young women across the United States who have never been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer but have the power to be proactive.

Today, Bright Pink is on a mission to save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering them to live proactively at a young age. At Bright Pink, Lindsay oversees a $3 million-plus budget, 16 full-time staff members, and an innovative portfolio of education and support programs serving thousands of women nationwide.

Among Lindsay’s growing list of honors, she was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’s “40 Under 40” (2014) and her work and story have been profiled by major media outlets including the Chicago Tribune; Self, Glamour, and Women’s Health magazines; MSNBC, The Today Show, and CNN.

Through Bright Pink, Lindsay has sparked a national movement and empowered countless young women to be proactive and to see themselves as advocates for their health, not victims of a disease.

Interviewed by Winn Claybaugh, Lindsay could very well be one of the most amazing spokespeople to champion cancer awareness, which in turn will save millions of lives. Listen to the interview here

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