While attending last year’s COMIKAZE Expo I was fortunate enough to meet Shaney Jo Darden.
She’s the hardworking founder of THE KEEP A BREAST FOUNDATION.
If you’re ready to read about a real life heroine, than scroll on!
UTF: You guys definitely had a very interesting display this year.
Shaney Jo Darden: We were very lucky to get a relationship going with Comikaze, Regina actually, introduced us to Bridget Silvestri and that was the beginning of the whole experience. What we have here is our traveling education booth, and we go to different events, music festivals, surf events, skate events, and our mission is to educate young people on cancer prevention, but we do that through arts and really cool things.
Today we’re really lucky. We have breast sculptures. We have a breast cast of Bridget Silvestri which is painted by her husband, Marc. We also have a cast of R. H. Stavis painted by Dennis Calero. These casts are very unique, one-of-a-kind amazing pieces of work that someone is going to win today.
UTF: There you go. That’s certainly going to be a prize to take home because I know that especially on Marc Silvestri’s it was a brand new medium.
Let me ask you where the idea for this kind of display come from?
Shaney Jo Darden: I came up with this concept thirteen years ago. Originally, I founded the organization because there wasn’t anything for young people, and a girlfriend of mine when I was in my 20s had breast cancer. It was a shock. No one talked about young women and cancer. No one talked about their risk. Everything was for older ladies and doing walks and pink stuff and that just wasn’t really my style. I wanted to raise awareness among my core group so I created the concept of doing the breast cast and having artists paint them. It was just a beautiful way to create this conversation about a topic that is so hard to talk about.
UTF: I think that’s great. It’s something that’s fits within a community that has a long history of creators trying to teach something about adjusting social norms.
Do you have anything else you want to add?
Shaney Jo Darden: Thank you so much, and thanks to Comikaze and all of the fans. It’s been a beautiful experience being here and serving this community. I’ve met so many cancer survivor’s, husbands of cancer survivors, kids that have a mother with breast cancer so I feel like we’ve really made an impact this weekend, and I’m really proud of what we accomplished.
As we close out I want to thank Ms. Shaney Jo Darden for sitting down with me. It was a pleasure and I want to take the time to employ my fellow fanboys and fangirls to give to this worthy cause!
But what did you guys think of the inteview? Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!