images by brittany jayne photography
images by brittany jayne photography

On the 18th of February, 2023, Erika launched a 6 week campaign leading up to her wedding day which was on 1 April 2023, when Erika had her hair cut in honour of those with cancer. "I had my amazing and trusted hair and makeup artist Emily Hass cut over 25cm of hair off my long red hair as part of the Zero Hero campaign by the National Breast Cancer Foundation." 

The beautiful Bride Erika wrote to us to share their wedding story with the team of ‘To the Aisle’ in hopes she could relay her story to others who have been touched by Cancer in their life, whether that be themselves or a loved one. "By sharing my story, I hope that your platform you may be able to promote awareness for a cancer that has touched my family too many times." Erika tells.

- I chose my wedding day for the hair chop event as I could use the wedding and bridal industry to amplify my message. I am fully aware of the fact that the wedding industry is heavily female dominated and I was more than sure that multiple women in the industry have been touched by the disease in some way. I was hopeful that by including vendors I could gain traction with the campaign and reach as many people as I could with the message that unfortunately no one is immune from breast cancer and that we as Australians are faced with the reality that 1 in 7 women will have breast cancer in their lifetime as well as 1 in 600 men.

In the 6 weeks leading up to the wedding and hair cut event, I focused on educating men (yes, men get breast cancer too) and women about the unfortunate reality of breast cancer and its prevalence within the Australian community. Luv Bridal Australia has been a major supporter in this campaign by posting and sharing my feed to their own socials. On my social medias, I really wanted to focus on the importance of self-checks, as well as how we can help those who are already diagnosed. Throughout my campaign, I released various aspects of breast cancer awareness and the different groups that assist in diagnosis and support. The result of this was being able to raise over $3,800 in donations for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The hair that I had been growing out for 2 years in the lead up to the event has been sent to The Kids with Cancer Foundation as part of their Wigs4Kids campaign where they hope to make 1 or more wigs for those children suffering from Cancer.

I chose to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation as in the past five years I have had three women in my family diagnosed with different stages of the disease, most recently my own mum. My mum was diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer in early 2022, I was broken by the thought that my mum may not even make it to my wedding. I am very lucky that today after a lumpectomy, 10% of a liver removal where the cancer had spread, radiation, hormone blockers and a targeted therapy called Kisqali, my mum is still with us today, thriving, going to work and enjoying important moments in my life like witnessing my wedding. It is because of backed research and funding by organisations such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation Australia that I can still have not only my mum but the other 2 ladies in my family in my life today. My Aunty Gillian and my nan.

I also would like to acknowledge outside support like my now Husband Daniel Torresi. I wouldn’t be able to deal with planning a wedding, a Breast Cancer Campaign and supporting my mum during these times of treatment, he is truly the love of my life.

While the campaign and fundraiser has ended, after hearing about my story, the message is ongoing with groups like our local football club setting up Breast Cancer fundraisers, as well as other small local businesses choosing to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation and to other organisations that support Breast Cancer Treatment like the Mater Women’s hospital and the McGrath Foundation.

I’m hoping that by sharing this message with your team and audience that I may be able to reach others in Australia with the message to get checked, be aware and to always help those who may be suffering.

Wedding Dress @luvbridal @madilanebridal (Briony gown) 
Organisation mentions

Fundraising: over $3780 was raised for the National Breast Cancer Foundation leading up to the wedding @nbcfaus

Hair Donation: my hair was donated to the Kids with Cancer foundation for the Wigs4Kids project @kidswithcancerfoundation