Erika, like many brides, has been dreaming of her special day since fiancé Dan proposed on April 1, 2021. Now, two years on Erika and Dan will tie the knot at Branell Homestead located in Southeast Queensland. However, Erika has decided to make her special day even more meaningful by raising awareness and support for those suffering from cancer.
On the morning of her wedding, Erika will cut 30 cm of her beautiful red hair and donate it to Wigs 4 Kids, a charity that makes wigs for children who have lost their hair through life-saving chemotherapy treatment. This cause is very close to Erika’s heart, as her mum, Eleeta was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer in early 2022 and is the inspiration behind her hair donation.
Like many brides, Erika had been growing her hair out for her wedding. However, after seeing her mum go through cancer treatment, she realized that there are many people in the world receiving treatment for life-threatening diseases who do not have the choice of long hair for their wedding day. Erika’s inspiration comes from the typical ‘hair chop’ trend which entails the bride cutting her hair in between the ceremony and the reception. Instead, Erika will be cutting her hair the morning of, and filming the process to raise breast cancer awareness and encourage others to donate to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).
After hearing about Erika’s inspiring journey, Luv Bridal offered their support. While raising money for the foundation is important to Erika and her mum, their main mission is awareness. They want to start a conversation about breast cancer and the importance of regular checks.In the lead up to Erika’s wedding, Luv Bridal has been sharing her journey on our socials. Through our posts, we have seen an outpouring of love and support from our followers.
Erika’s story has resonated with our brides-to-be who have had similar experiences or have been touched by her journey. Erika has also informed us that she has received messages of gratitude from women who have related to her story. Whilst other women have reached out to let Erika know that her story has encouraged and inspired women to book their own health checks. We asked Eleeta if she had any message that she would like to share with people. She said, “Be kind. I don’t look sick! I don’t feel sick! I am still working every day, but there are days, fortunately very few, when I feel vulnerable. You never know what struggles another person is going through.” Eleeta’s words are a powerful reminder that we should always try to be kind and compassionate towards others, as we never know what battles people may be fighting.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is Australia’s leading national non-for-profit organisation, championing game-changing breast cancer research with money raised from the community fundraising efforts from advocates like Erika. NBCF also provides support for patients and their families throughout diagnosis and treatment.
Erika’s hope is to help the NBCF achieve their goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030. She believes that research is the best way to prevent deaths and improve how breast cancer is diagnosed, managed, and treated. Together, we can help NBCF reach their goal by supporting Erika’s cause and donating. Erika also expresses the importance of non-monetary donations and that
“we can make a difference by having our regular check-ups at our local Breast Screen, which is free for women over 40. It may seem like an uncomfortable inconvenience at the time, but it could save your life”.
As Erika prepares to walk down the aisle on April 1st wearing her dream dress that she found at our Luv Bridal Brisbane Showroom (a Madi Lane gown), we can’t help but feel inspired by her courage and selflessness. Her decision to make her wedding day about more than just herself is a true testament to her character and her love for others.
To Erika’s mom, Eleeta, we want to send our love and well wishes as she continues to fight her battle with breast cancer. The strength and resilience your family has shown is an inspiration to us all, and we admire your determination to keep going despite the challenges you have faced. We stand with you in your fight and hope that your journey ahead is filled with hope, healing, and happiness.
Finally, we want to encourage everyone to take Erika’s message to heart and make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. Whether it’s by donating to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, booking a check-up at a local Breast Screen, or simply spreading awareness about the importance of early detection and regular check-ups, we can all play a role in making a positive change. Let’s come together and support each other in the fight against breast cancer and let Erika’s story be a reminder that even the smallest acts of kindness and generosity can make a big difference in the world.
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