Milford students create breast cancer awareness video


MILFORD >> Two students at Lauralton Hall High School have created a fun, educational music video about breast health, featuring their original composition, “The Boob Song,” and scenes of them in the supermarket playfully holding round fruits in front of them to show breast variation.

The song, written by sophomores Elizabeth Garfield and Milly Koch, both 15, begins with the girls in a vehicle, dressed in their school uniforms, and singing their catchy tune: “God gave you these gifts that sit on your chest. Everyone’s pair is different from the rest. I’m blessed to have breasts.”

Most girls their age aren’t thinking about breast health, but at Lauralton, a girls’ Catholic school, they’ve been way ahead of the curve. The material has been part of the health curriculum for 10 years, because of the Get In Touch Foundation, of Milford, which emphasizes breast exams and familiarity beginning at a young age.

It was at Lauralton earlier this month — Breast Cancer Awareness Month — that state Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, announced a new law requiring breast health to be part of the curriculum in schools. Slossberg proposed the bill in memory of Get In Touch Foundation founder Mary Ann Wasil, who died from the disease in April after a long battle.

Just after a breast education session last year, Elizabeth and Millie, who had written a song about the Crusades as a school assignment, were asked casually by Nancy Church, community education coordinator for the Norma Pfriem Breast Center, if they could write a song on breast health. Church heard about their Crusades number while she was there to educate on breast health.

The girls, who have been friends since preschool, wrote the song last year — Elizabeth mostly the music and Milly the lyrics — then shot the video this year in Fairfield, where Elizabeth resides. Milly lives in Trumbull.

The video says at the beginning it was made in honor of breast cancer awareness and the Get In Touch Foundation. Elizabeth said it is also special because her grandmother is a breast cancer survivor.

While they don’t mention the Get In Touch Foundation or its trademark self-exam tool, the “Daisy Wheel,” in the video, one line alludes to the foundation: “Even in the shower, get in touch.”

The video is shot in many outdoor settings and in the produce department of a ShopRite, where the girls hold melons, plums and oranges in front of themselves — an image that plays into popular culture. The tune is light and the girls are smiling, but serious in the message.

The lyrics incorporate many of the lessons Lauralton students learn: to get to know your breasts so you can recognize changes and, if you notice changes, to bring the matter to a family member or someone you trust. The video also encourages general heath: “Stay healthy, do research and eat right.” They also hold broccoli.

Another part of the song goes: “These girls are important to me and to you, so if you think that something’s wrong, then you know what to do.” Then they tell listeners in song to call family or someone they trust.

Church said she loves the video, they are “smart, smart girls,” and she will use the video in age-appropriate cases in the breast awareness education she does throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties.

“They’re just so bright, clever and creative. ... They were so thoughtful and did it in such a sweet manner,” Church said of the video. “Every little stanza makes me feel validated,” because it shows they were listening to the educational message she delivered last year.

Church said it’s important to teach breast health and self-examination early. It is not because they expect young girls to find cancer, but because it gets them in touch with their bodies so they can detect changes and get comfortable with self-exam that will carry into the future.

“We want it to become second nature for them, just like brushing their teeth,” Church said.

Peggy McGowan, chairwoman of the school’s health and wellness department, said she’s “ecstatic” with how the video turned out and the girls incorporated “all the right things.”

“It speaks volumes for the girls,” McGowan added, noting how nice it is that these days teenagers can say “breasts” without giggling, and talk about self-exam casually because they’re so familiar through the education. She said that wasn’t the case a decade ago.

The girls said they decided to keep it simple and just call their piece “The Boob Song.”

Milly, who said she’s happy with how the song came out, said they tried to make it funny in parts to hold interest.

Elizabeth said she liked the grocery store scenes, and they had a lot of questions — and in some cases unusual glances, while filming.

Both had a good time making the video, they said. So far they are spreading the video through Facebook, but would love it to get more exposure.

One repeated set of lines in the video:

“God gave you these gifts, you should give them a test, to make sure they remain at their very best. Because you’re blessed to have breasts.”