Bucks New University graduate knows her lemons


Date: 19th Jan 2017

Designer and Bucks graduate Dr Corrine Ellsworth Beaumont has hit the headlines after her #KnowYourLemons campaign, which uses visuals to educate people about breast cancer, went viral.

Corrine's egg box of lemons graphic depicting the signs of breast cancer was shared by a breast cancer patient on social media last week and has since been shared more than 42,000 times on Facebook alone.

Breast cancer is a personal issue for Corrine as both her grandmothers and a close friend died from the disease. It was when she began to research how to protect herself that she discovered a lack of clear information about ways to spot breast cancer symptoms.

Corrine said: "Not one leaflet or website had all of the answers in a simple, easy-to-understand format. I wanted to use my design skills to find a way to visualise breast cancer awareness in a way that was interesting and informative. I started photographing objects to stand-in for the breast and eventually decided that a lemon worked best. It has a 'nipple', and the interior looks similar to breast anatomy. I spent time at a screening centre and learned that a lump is hard and immovable, much like a lemon seed. I knew I had found my metaphor."

The #KnowYourLemons project began in 2002 at Utah State University where Corrine completed a Master's degree in design. In 2006 Corrine moved to the United Kingdom to embark on a PhD in Design at Bucks New University.

Corrine said: "Bucks New University provided an environment that allowed me to work without restriction. My PhD advisor, Dr Paul Springer went above and beyond to help me feel welcome in a new country and excel. I'll always be grateful for the funding I received from Bucks to work on the #KnowYourLemons campaign. The time I spent working towards my PhD gave me the opportunity to really dedicate myself to improving, testing and developing this global campaign. I want to thank Bucks New University and the advertising agency WAVV RAPP Collins London, who helped sponsor my studentship, for believing in this work."

In 2009 Corrine began working as a lecturer of design thinking and start-ups in London. In 2013, Corrine's close friend died from breast cancer, having being diagnosed aged 28, and she took the decision to resign from her teaching post and create the Worldwide Breast Cancer charity.

Professor Tim Middleton, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Enterprise and International said: "Everyone at Bucks New University is very proud of Corrine's achievements and the significant difference she has made to breast cancer prevention. Corrine is a fine example of how encouraging innovation, creativity and enterprise not only transforms our students' lives but also the lives of those their work impacts."

The #KnowYourLemons campaign has been translated into 16 languages and has been used to educate people about breast cancer in more than 70 countries worldwide.

Corrine explains: "I use visuals to help educate people about breast cancer in a way that words alone cannot. My designs help women to answer questions such as: What do I look for? What am I feeling for when I check by breasts? When should I get a mammogram? Am I at a higher risk of breast cancer? The campaign is helping to raise awareness and save lives. The charity hopes to change the picture of breast cancer for the better. One lemon at a time."

Find out more the Know Your Lemons campaign and how to donate toward Corrine's charity here.