Lee National Denim Day Rises Above Breast Cancer

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Today, Lee National Denim Day celebrates National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with one important goal – raising critical funds for American Cancer Society's breast cancer research and support programs. In the United States, 234,580 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year, and today thousands of people nationwide will celebrate Denim Day by wearing their jeans and donating $5 to this cause. Since its inception in 1996, Denim Day has raised more than $89 million to fight breast cancer, and today we hope to add millions to that total. With the American Cancer Society as Denim Day's beneficiary, funds raised will support life-saving screenings in communities nationwide; provide a free place to stay for those traveling away from home for cancer treatment; and invest in groundbreaking cancer research.

Leading the effort is Lee National Denim Day's 2013 survivor ambassador Amy Slater. As an avid runner and triathlete, Slater was stunned when she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer at the age of 40. Beginning chemotherapy in February of 2013, she continues to fight valiantly with the daily encouragement of her friends. Every day, the American Cancer Society provides information, day-to-day help and emotional support for cancer patients like Amy.

"By joining together on Lee National Denim Day, we can all be a part of a nationwide support team to ensure no woman fights this disease alone," says Slater. "When I first found out I had breast cancer, the first thing I did was turn to my friends and family for support. It's the little things they do, like helping me run errands, that keep me going."

Fifty percent of net proceeds raised through Lee National Denim Day will benefit community-based programs, including breast cancer screenings and the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge initiative, which provides cancer patients and their families a free place to stay when they have to travel away from home for treatment. In 2012, Hope Lodge facilities across the country provided approximately 50,000 nights of free lodging to nearly 41,000 patients and caregivers – saving them nearly $26 million in lodging expenses.

The remaining proceeds of Lee National Denim Day will help fund American Cancer Society's national research grants to find cures for breast cancer. As the largest private, not-for-profit funder of cancer research, the Society has contributed to nearly every cancer breakthrough in recent history. Their funded researchers have helped develop the drugs to treat advanced breast cancer and have shown that mammograms are the most effective form of detection. One in every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer reaches out to the American Cancer Society for help and support.

"The fighting spirits found in Amy and survivors throughout the country are an inspiration to all who are touched by breast cancer," said Liz Cahill, vice president of marketing at Lee. "We are thrilled to partner with the American Cancer Society for a second year and stimulate millions into action to help forward our shared goal to help aid and empower those affected by the disease."

Lee National Denim Day is committed to improving the everyday lives of those with breast cancer – past, present and future. Since its inception in 1996, the program has raised more than $89 million in this effort.

It's not too late to hold your own Denim Day – we're celebrating all month long! Register your team at DenimDay.com. Donations will be accepted through December 31, 2013.