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Every year we like to highlight grass roots organizations dedicated to helping breast cancer survivors create their new normal after a diagnosis. We feel it’s important, especially at this time of year, to remember the non-profits working so diligently to make a difference.
Personal Ink (P.INK)
Since we originally shared information about Personal Ink (P.INK) in addition to their Pinterest and Facebook presence, they have added a website: http://p-ink.org/.
P.INK, which is considered a post-mastectomy tattoo support platform, was created to help educate post-mastectomy patients about tattoos as an alternative healing option designed to help them take creative control of their post-op bodies.
One of the highlights of their Pinterest page is a video created to showcase the potential healing power of reconstructive ink. The film follows Los Angeles breast cancer survivor Molly Ortwein as she receives her scar covering tattoo from Miami-based tattoo artist Colby Butler, who inked her two-year-old mastectomy scars.
“I was the last person you’d expect to get a tattoo,” said Ortwein. “But I rethought my options after my doctor told me that I wouldn’t get my nipples back. My coverage tattoos gave me the confidence to close that chapter and move forward.”
Noel Franus, who just happens to be Molly’s brother-in-law (kudos to Mr. Franus), helped create this non-profit passion project because as he says, “When reconstruction doesn’t cut it, we want to give survivors a chance to re-envision themselves with an entirely blank slate.”
Art Bra Austin
Art Bra Austin is the premiere fundraiser for the city’s Breast Cancer Resource Centers. This runway show features an assorted collection of art bras which are modeled by BCRC clients, thereby providing a firsthand look at the diverse population they serve.
Art Bra Austin is a juried art/design competition. Every year, Austin’s considerable community of talented artists, designers, and jewelers submit their original works of wearable art to be showcased by a dynamic group of Art Bra Austin Models. Approximately 70 pieces are selected from over 100 submissions to be offered for auction the night of the event. The top submissions are auctioned live during the runway show with winning bids as high as $8,500 for these one-of-a-kind creations.
There next event will take place on June 6, 2015 at The Austin Music Hall. They have noted that anyone interested in being a model for next year’s event should definitely check their website in January 2015 for more information on how to become a model for (http://artbraaustin.org/models/).
Because treatment for breast cancer has gotten more sophisticated, it has also gotten much more complex. BCRC is dedicated to assisting Central Texans affected by breast cancer in overcoming obstacles related to accessing screening and treatment services, adhering to treatment plans, and in confronting the issues that erode quality of life.
Whatever the circumstances, BCRC provides all services and programs – free of charge – to anyone affected by breast cancer regardless of income, ethnicity, education, sexual orientation, or social support. With every act and for every client, BCRC strives to embody understanding, preserve dignity, and always see the woman as well as the disease. They believe no one should face breast cancer alone.
Their programs include individualized patient navigation, face-to-face support group meetings, online forums, educational seminars, and special events.
You can obtain more information about this event by visiting: http://www.artbraaustin.org/bcrc/index.php
BRA Day USA
National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day
Last October marked the third annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, or BRA Day USA. BRA Day USA is an initiative designed to promote education, awareness and access regarding post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.
BRA Day USA is a collaborative effort initiated by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Plastic Surgery Foundation, plastic surgeons, breast centers, nurse navigators, corporate sponsors and breast cancer support groups.
This organization became a reality when it was discovered that many women eligible for breast reconstruction following cancer surgery were not always being informed of their options. BRA Day USA was created to help close this gap.
October’s event brought together thousands of women’s health advocates from across the country for a common purpose – to raise awareness about reconstructive rights and options available to women who have experienced mastectomy or lumpectomy due to breast cancer treatment.
Nearly 160 ASPS member practices from 44 states convened to celebrate and educate their communities through events held to observe Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day.
Events varied greatly, from educational lectures and book signings to fashion shows, spa days and wine tastings. Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day events are developed by those who have committed to the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day cause and in doing so have organized an event to raise awareness and donations to The Plastic Surgery Foundation Breast Reconstruction Awareness Fund. The fund supports awareness initiatives, research and charity care.
Their site provides an option for not only finding out about events in your state, but the guidelines for starting an event in your area if there isn’t something already planned.