Lindsay Avner made history in 2006 when she became the youngest woman in the country to have a risk-reducing double mastectomy. After being diagnosed with the BRCA1 gene mutation at the age of 22, she took action and vowed not to let breast cancer strike her as it had three generations of women before her.
Through her experience, Lindsay found herself asking some powerful questions: “Why do we have to wait until someone is diagnosed to take action? Why, as a country, are we so focused on cancer and not health?” And so, in 2007, Bright Pink was born.
Bright Pink is a national nonprofit, empowering young women to take action and be proactive with their breast and ovarian health. During Bright Pink’s first decade, Lindsay created, directed, and grew an innovative portfolio of education and support programs that reach millions of women nationwide with lifesaving breast and ovarian health education, and arm them with the knowledge and tools to take action. These programs reach young women and healthcare providers through in-person workshops, digital tools, and community outreach initiatives. To date, Bright Pink has had more than 1,500,000 women complete a risk assessment at AssessYourRisk.org, the organization’s flagship digital quiz, and gain lifesaving knowledge to take action for their breast and ovarian health.
Prior to starting Bright Pink, Lindsay spent three years in brand management at Unilever, working on national personal care brands Degree, Axe, and Suave. Today, she uses the marketing skills she honed during her time at Unilever to establish cause-marketing partnerships with world-class brands that help further the organization’s mission and amplify its lifesaving impact. Bright Pink’s growing list of national corporate partners includes aerie by American Eagle Outfitters, Paul Mitchell, Vineyard Vines, Olay, Stella & Dot, and the WNBA.
Lindsay was named to Crain’s Chicago Business’ “40 under 40” (2014), “A Woman to Watch” by the Chicago Sun Times (2008), an “Action Hero” by Women’s Health magazine (2008), a “Woman Doing Good” by Self Magazine (2011), a “Promise” leader by the YWCA (2011), and she is the youngest recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s “Rising Star” award (2009). Lindsay has become a thought leader and called-upon national spokesperson in her field. Her story and work have been profiled in such media outlets as NBC Nightly News, the New York Times, MSNBC, Women’s Health magazine, The Today Show, and CNN. Through Bright Pink, Lindsay has shifted the national conversation from one focused on breast and ovarian cancer awareness to one centered on tangible, life-saving action.
Lindsay currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Bright Pink and lives in Chicago with her husband Gregg, and five children, Zach, Lexie, Abby, Lucy, and Jack.
Interviewed by Winn Claybaugh, Lindsay could very well be one of the most amazing spokespeople to champion cancer awareness, which in turn will save millions of lives.