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Topless breast cancer event to show survivors are beautiful, organizer says (NSFW)

These days, there are plenty of breast-cancer fundraisers, as well there should be: It's a great cause.

But so far as Carla Gurovich knows, there's never been one quite like Two Topless Miles, at which breast-cancer survivors and their friends, family and supporters will be able to take off their shirts and join together at Mountain Air Ranch, a self-described family nudist resort west of Littleton, to raise cash for the continuing cancer fight while making a statement about beauty before and afterward.

"We were looking to do a breast-cancer event that was something different," Gurovich says. "There are so many one-day walks, two-day walks, three-day walks, gala dinners that you see advertised. But we wanted to do something that would stand out.

Photos from the Mountain Air Ranch brochure.
Photos from the Mountain Air Ranch brochure.

"Also," she goes on, "the organizers are part of Mountain Air Ranch, and over the years, we've had more and more women -- and men -- at the ranch who've had breast cancer and have had to deal with the scars to their bodies. But they seemed to rise above their scars so much more quickly."

One reason for this success, Gurovich believes, is that such people are able to embrace the experience they survived rather than hiding the marks left behind.

Another inspiration for Gurovich, she notes, "was all the news on Facebook about women who dared to show their breasts after breast cancer, whether they were covered with body paint or whatever, and Facebook censored them." Afterward, "people were reposting them, saying, 'Facebook -- put these back on.'"

The more she thought about this reaction, the more Gurovich wanted "to find a way to honor survivors, honor their bravery, and help all of them to have a more positive body image. And we thought, what better way to do that then to stand together topless? So we decided to have the event at Mountain Air Ranch" and invite members of the public.

Because the ranch is private property, the organizers felt confident that their event would not run afoul of the law. But to be certain, Gurovich says, "we coordinated with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office to make sure we'll have no problems -- and they're on board. We've got a special-event permit from the county."

Once that was accomplished, a Two Topless Miles website and Facebook page was launched, with early outreach to members of Mountain Air Ranch. Now, Gurovich is starting to spread the news to the public at large.

What would she tell those who may balk at the idea of seeing post-operative breast-cancer survivors topless, in order to assuage their discomfort?

Continue for more about the Two Topless Miles fundraiser, including a video.

"I guess I would say to them: Think about how courageous these survivors are," Gurovich replies. "They're saying, 'We're going to go ahead and bare our breasts' -- saying, 'Look at me. This is who I am. And I'm still beautiful.'"

Gurovich would also encourage people to "get out of your comfort zone a little bit. Stand up with these people and say, 'We're all in this together. We're all beautiful.'"

After all, she continues, "everybody either has a family member or probably even a close friend who's had breast cancer. It's that pervasive. And we're saying, 'It doesn't matter if we're scarred or not. It doesn't matter if you're small or if you're large. We're all beautiful. It's what's inside us that's most important.'"

On this subject, Gurovich is inspired by Jill Brzezinski-Conley, a Kentucky resident with terminal cancer who has shown her own scars. A video of Brzezinski-Conley shared on the Two Topless Miles Facebook page is included below.

The attendance goal for the event is 500 participants, Gurovich reveals. "This is the first year, and it's something really different -- so I'm not sure if we'll make that goal. But I think it's a good one, and if we do get 500 people, we'll be able to raise about $20,000, not counting people from out of state who may not be able to participate but want to help. We've already gotten a few donations."

The proceeds will be split 80-20 between the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and what are described as educational programs to help survivors and families deal with body-image issues.

Look below to see the Brzezinski-Conley video -- and click here to register or get more information about the event.

More from our Photos archive: "Photos: Race for the Cure Denver's attendance down, but not the enthusiasm."


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