When curl queen Ouidad was thinking about the best way to raise money for breast cancer research, she wanted to create a program that would be effective year round — not just during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Breast cancer doesn’t just happen one month a year. The American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States alone there will be well over 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed this year — almost 600 new cases per day.

Instead of collecting money through pink products, as many companies do, Ouidad decided to transform Curls for a Cure into an ongoing campaign, where all the money goes to research.

Ouidad made a commitment to match, dollar for dollar, made by donors on her website. Their goal is to raise $100,000 for breast cancer research in 2006. That is the cost of funding one researcher for 24 months. So far this year, the company has raised close to $40,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and is one of the organization’s corporate partners.

Ouidad takes the cause very seriously. In 2002, she was diagnosed with breast cancer — the same disease that took her mother’s life. She was fortunate to make a full recovery. But she vowed to continue the battle.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation identifies the top researchers conducting the most innovative breast cancer research at leading medical centers worldwide, and awards these scientists generous grants and encourages them to explore novel strategies.

A minimum of 85 cents of each dollar donated to the foundation goes directly to breast cancer research and awareness programs.

Ouidad believes every donation counts, whether it’s $5 or $5,000. So Ouidad has created two ways to participate — through an outright donation on the “Donation” page, or customers can add a donation to their shopping cart during checkout.

To make a donation, go here.

With the help of Breast Cancer Research Foundation:

  • More than six different vaccines to treat and prevent breast cancer are being tested.
  • New drugs are in development that cut off the blood supply to the tumor, stopping tumor growth and preventing its spread, as well as drugst that cause the tumor to disappear and that make common anti-cancer agents much more effective.
  • The world’s largest study exploring the ability of radiotherapy to cure DCIS is being conducted.
  • A major international trial has determined that the use of Herception and chemotherapy decreases recurrence and death from primary HER-2 positive breast cancer.

Other ways to help

* A NaturallyCurly.com exclusive Breast Cancer Awareness Bag, with Curl Junkie Curl Fuel, a pink “To Tell with Straight Hair” t-shirt, a Wave Pink This is J Headband and pink Aquis Mimi’s Diva Dryer Hair Towel — all for $60. We will give 25 percent of the proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

* Farouk Sytems is donating 10 percent of all the sales of its limited edition Pink CHI Pro Dryer, Pink CHI Ceramic Flat Iron, Pink CHI Ceramic Hair Brushes and CHI Ceramic Nail Lacquer to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation as well as Dr. Seema Kahn at Northwestern University Hospital’s research center.

* For every can of Bumble and Bumble Classic Hairspray sold, $1 goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

* For every tube of Aveda Hand Relief sold, Aveda will give $2 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

* Good is giving 5 percent of the proceeds of its Pink Ouchless Elastics to Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

* Up to $80,000 of the sales of Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Gloss, in Evelyn Hot Pink, will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

* During the month of October, Essie Cosmetics will donate 30 percent of the proceeds from the sale of their limited edition nail polish — Essie Pink Ribbon and the Pink Ribbon Mini Duo — to the Libby Ross Foundation.

* Swarovski Crystal is donating $20,000 from the proceeds of the sale of their beautiful Pink Hope Pin to the Libby Ross Foundation.

* Christo Fifth Avenue this month has created a special basket for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and 15 percent of the proceeds will go to Cypress Federation of America, which supports breast cancer awareness, research, training and treatment, with particular ties to Cypress and Greece.

* For the month of October, Alexandra de Markoff will put together a trio of their top selling skin creams to benefit The Libby Ross Foundation.

* Quench and tint your pout with a single swipe of Origins Flower Fusion Hydrating Lip Color and donate $2 from each tube to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

* With your purchase of the pink limited-edition Ion Anti Frizz Ionic Dryer, Sally Beauty will make a contribution to the City of Hope Cancer Center to help fund breast cancer research, treatment and education. Sally Beauty Company has raised more than $3 million for the City of Hope Cancer Center.

Michelle Breyer

As co-founder of NaturallyCurly.com, a website for curly hair she began with her business partner and friend, Gretchen Heber, Michelle Breyer helped create the leading community and resource for people with curly hair. Frustrated by the lack of information on curly hair and the limited products available in the marketplace, the duo launched the site in 1998 with the help of a 14-year-old web designer. When Procter & Gamble called three years later to advertise to the NaturallyCurly.com® audience, Breyer knew they had indeed created a force in the industry, providing helpful information and unparalleled expertise for what was then considered a niche market.

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