Award-winning singer-songwriter and breast cancer survivor Jean Synodinos (pronounced sin-uh-DEE-nus) will spend October urging women to get their annual mammogram. October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From the stage at her gigs and over radio airwaves, she will repeat her mantra: “Early detection not only saves lives, it saves the quality of lives.”
A fearless and exuberant performing songwriter, the Austin Chronicle has called Jean Synodinos, “as fine a vocalist as she is a composer.” A winner of several songwriting awards nationwide, including the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk competition, Jean’s songs juxtapose elements of pop, folk, blues and jazz to tell her stories of survivingóand thriving.
Her winning appearances in songwriting competitions nationwide are nothing compared to her win over breast cancer in 2002. “That mammogram saved my life. Period. I only got it out of respect for my kid sister who’d undergone her own cancer scare,” says Jean. “The day I got the bad news was about the worst day of my life. This cancer was aggressive, but we caught it early, and that made all the difference in the world ñ in terms of treatment, recovery and, most importantly, long-term survival. I’d like to do everything I can to take terror out of the cancer equation for women.”
A portion of the proceeds of Jean’s debut solo CD, Lucky, goes to the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Austin, a grassroots non-profit created by breast cancer survivors to offer a safe and supportive network for patients and their families to deal with the rigors of diagnosis and treatment. Jean has also been invited to perform at the BCRC’s Annual F
undraiser in October.
Lucky’s eleven tracks of groove, grit and grace features thoroughbred performances from some of Austin’s most legendary players, including Earl Poole Ball (Johnny Cash) on piano and Chris Searles (The Flatlanders, Shawn Colvin) on drums and percussion. Third Coast Music magazine raves about Lucky, “Synodinos is amazingÖ she has some excellent moves as a songwriter and is an accomplished acoustic guitarist, but her big gun is the marvel that is her voice.”
Throughout October, Jean will make appearances on radio nationwide to speak about breast cancer and her own experience. “The American Cancer Society reports that over 200,000 women in America will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and over 40,000 will lose their lives. But here’s the real irony: while diagnosis and treatment options are better than ever, we are faced with a mounting health insurance crisis in this country that is keeping increasing numbers of women out of the doctor’s office and finding HMO’s restricting payment for important treatment. We are forced, now more than ever, to become our own best advocates for our health care, and that must start with getting those mammograms.”