ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The publisher of a women’s magazine says it was the death of a close friend that prompted her to create an issue dedicated to breast cancer survivors.
Gazelle STL’s latest issue features a breast cancer survivor on the front cover. Her hair is short due to chemotherapy, but it’s the sequin dress revealing the scar where her left breast used to be that really catches the eye. The photo is from an exhibit based in Finland.
Publisher and magazine founder Cillah Hall says for women, social norms make changes in the body difficult for women to cope with. “It takes a lot to lose a part of your body and they’re readjusting to the new them,” Hall says. “So to be able to say ‘We see that you’re fighting and you’re still beautiful, we support you’ is very important to us.”
Hall says watching her friend, Wavey Walu-Seeko, battle and eventually succumb to breast cancer inspired the annual health issue. But she carries guilt for not being able to be with her friend in her final moments.
The day of Walu-Seeko’s death, Hall says she was called away for a meeting. “I got to St. Louis and I got the call that she passed away…so I missed that moment,” she says.
But Hall says Walu-Seeko’s courage inspired her to finish college, enabling her to start the magazine.
You can find the October issue of Gazelle STL on newsstands now in about 40 area Schnucks, Dierberg’s and Straub’s grocery stores.
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