"Rare Chair Affair" uses art to help those affected by breast cancer to bond and heal

SHOREWOOD (WITI) -- Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been both a special and emotional time of year for Pat Skowronski for more than a decade, as she was diagnosed with this terrible disease back in 2003.

"I was angry and then I cried a lot, and then I said 'wait a minute, this isn't going to get me,'" said Skowronski.

Six years ago, Skowronski learned about the Rare Chair Affair.

"We have breast cancer survivors who work with volunteer artists all summer on repurposed pieces of furniture -- primarily chairs," said Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition Executive Director Dawn Anderson.

Skowronski began making a chair every year.

Although she's had fun showing off her artistic side, the emotional bond she has formed with fellow survivors has helped her and others.

"I'm hoping that it's given them some strength and some security in knowing that you can survive, you can go on. It's worked for me and it can work for so many more," said Skowronski.

Four of the chairs are on display at the shop Fyndig in Shorewood. Later this month, they're going up for auction at the Rare Chair Affair.

"It's just very exciting to celebrate their healing journey they've done through their art and being there with their family and friends and we want to see more survivors doing that," said Anderson.

The proceeds go to the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition, which promotes advocacy for access to breast cancer treatment, prevention and research.

"We use the funds that are raised through Rare Chair Affair and our supporters to train advocates to speak to their legislators about how policy issues can affect the breast cancer community," said Anderson.

Now in remission, Skowronski is enjoying life with her new friends and never taking anything for granted.

"It made me more aware of the world around and how short life really is. I don't care how long you live. It's never long enough," said Skowronski.

The Rare Chair Affair event takes place Friday, October 10th at the Wisconsin Club on Good Hope Road.

For more information on the event or to purchase tickets CLICK HERE.