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Betsy Johnson - now a proud breast cancer survivor

Betsy Johnson is now a proud breast cancer awareness advocate, however when she was diagnosed with the disease nearly 12 years ago, she refused to tell anyone about her diagnosis, The Washington Post reports.

"When I was first diagnosed I made my daughter swear over my dead body that she would not tell," Johnson told the publication. "After my surgery we had to escape, we had to lie. I kept it completely private. The biggest fear I had was that people were going to worry about my business, my health and whether I was going to live or die. Back then people didn’t think about getting through it and going on to live, in some ways, even more powerful lives."

As breast cancer has unfortunately become more common since her diagnosis, Johnson now proudly tells her story to anyone who will listen. During October, she is holding in-store parties and is also selling breast cancer products like I'm a Survivor T-shirts, hot-pink under garments and socks that say We Can Do It.

A portion of the sales from these items will go to Fashion Targets Breast Cancer and the Iris Cantor Women's Health Center, where Johnson was treated. Raising awareness is crucial to saving lives. Nearly 200,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year, BreastCancer.org reports.
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