Pink isn't her colour, she says, but to help raise money during Breast Cancer Awareness month for her Right Action for Women charity, she'll wear — with pleasure — the sneakers, headbands and jog bra that sportswear brand ASICS has made as fundraising items in a special-edition partnership. The items are on sale through Oct. 31.
She jokes, though, that she really doesn't need the bra anymore.
Applegate, 40, was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36 and underwent a double mastectomy.
She is particularly interested in attracting attention for the breast-cancer cause among younger women and those who, fortunately, seem unlikely to be diagnosed. "Our family and friends can only support as much as they understand," she said in a telephone interview.
Right Action is a charitable services fund of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. ASICS has promised a minimum donation of $75,000, up to $100,000.
Associated Press: Do you wear pink?
Applegate: Not so much. It's not that I don't support the pink. It usually washes me out, but it looks beautiful on other people. For the sake of our conversation, I love what they're doing with ASICS. It's all limited edition, and you know it's helping people. Every time you look at a pair of shoes or a jog top, you'll know you're creating awareness and conversation, especially with the bright pink, people will ask, 'Why are you wearing bright pink?'
AP: Do you need running sneakers in your closet?
Applegate: I am an exerciser. It's an imperative part of our health — it's not just physical, but also mental and holistic. It keeps you healthy and strong and reduces the risks of various illnesses. ... I'm a spinner, and I have a trainer for cardio. I don't run anymore because I have a little injury in my back, but I used to love to run.
AP: How did the name of your organization, Right Action, evolve?
Applegate: In naming it, it came through a 'right action,' a phrase I use in the spiritual plane of my life. It's sort of 'divine intervention,' about taking the right action for your life. It's one movement of healing; you'd say it like one word, 'rightaction,' not 'right' and 'action,' like two words.
AP: And what's your goal with it?
Applegate: My goal for the organization, and you have to start somewhere, is to ... get the word out to younger women that this is not a disease only for 50-year-old women. I was 36. (Applegate has said she had the BRCA gene mutation which substantially raises the risk for breast cancer at an early age.) ... Eventually, I want to take women on their whole journey: financial aid, emotional support and take them through the whole journey.
AP: Why does breast cancer, as a cause, get so much attention?
Applegate: It really is a community. It doesn't matter what time of night it is, there's someone there for you. ... It's our female-hood. Men get breast cancer so you can't exclude them, but when you're dealing with so many women, you can't ignore it. It's why some really rally for each other and with each other.