Australian design siblings, Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman of Camilla and Marc, tragically lost their mother to ovarian cancer 26 years ago. They just were 11 and 13, respectively. Haunted by the loss of their beautiful mum, it’s taken 26 years for the brother and sister to share their story, with Camilla first sharing a photo of her mum last year on Instagram. The response was overwhelming. It was this that gave the designer the courage to talk about her grief further.
“Along with countless others, we sadly lost our mother to ovarian cancer 26 years ago due to a late diagnosis. The pain of losing my mother so suddenly was devastating and one of the most difficult things I have ever had to encounter. We want to start a powerful conversation now, so that our children and future generations can look forward to a future where deaths from ovarian cancer are a rarity rather than the norm.”
Today, they launch the “Ovaries. Talk about them” campaign. Motivated by their devastating loss and personal connection to the disease, Camilla and Marc have created two limited edition t-shirts, with proceeds being donated directly to Ovarian Cancer Research UNSW Sydney. Money raised will support Associate Professor Caroline Ford and her team, to develop an early detection test for ovarian cancer. “Developing an effective detection test for ovarian cancer will be a game changer for this disease, as you will be able to catch cancer early and cure through surgery,” explains Associate Professor Caroline Ford. “Early detection is as powerful as a cure.”
With minimal warning signs, no early detection test, limited funding and no cure, once ovarian cancer is diagnosed, it is often too late. In Australia, three women die from the disease every day, and close to 300,000 women are diagnosed every year.
The campaign, “Ovaries. Talk about them”, aims to ignite conversation, to get women and men talking about ovaries and ovarian cancer, calling for a new wave of awareness around this silent killer.
“There is a social taboo that exists when it comes to the word ovaries and a general lack of awareness about this type of cancer. Our campaign aims to help women to talk more openly with their partners, sisters, friends, wives, brothers and mothers about their ovaries and about this disease. The more dialogue we can create, the more awareness we can raise, the more funding we can harness, the closer we come to a cure,” says Camilla.
The first limited edition t-shirt is a collaboration with Perth-based artist Rina Freiberg, and both honours and celebrates the female form. The words: “Ovaries. Talk about them” blast powerfully from the back of the t-shirt. The second, simpler in its articulation, features the words “Power and Solidarity”, representing the powerful movement that can occur when we come together to share our stories and create genuine, meaningful change.
A group of strong, successful women and men front the campaign, including Nicole Warne, Sarah Ellen, Jasmine and Karl Stefanovic, Blainey North, Gabriella Penfold and Georges Antoni (and his family), who lensed the series. The “Ovaries. Talk about them” campaign will play an important role for every person affected and impacted by ovarian cancer. By introducing an early detection test women will be provided with the knowledge, resources and power to know their ovaries.
Now is the time to talk about ovaries, now is the time to change the conversation and now is the time to unite and shine a much needed spotlight on ovarian cancer.
the limited edition t-shirts will be available in-store and online at CAMILLA AND MARC boutiques nationwide from 2nd March and retail for $160 for the ‘Art’ t-shirt, and $140 for the ‘Power and Solidarity’ t-shirt.
CAMILLA AND MARC is encouraging those who buy the t-shirt to share their experience on social media with the tags #ovariestalkaboutthem #powerandsolidarity #CAMILLAANDMARC.