Lending a Helping Hand for Breast Reconstruction

Inaugural BRA Day proceeds provide funding for breast reconstruction awareness, charitable care and research

handFirst launched in 2011 in Canada and on Oct. 17, 2012 in the US, Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day promotes education, awareness and access regarding post-mastectomy breast reconstruction through question and answer sessions, lectures, flash mobs, fundraising parties, advertising campaigns and community gatherings. A collaborative effort between the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), The Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF), plastic surgeons specializing in breast surgery as well as other healthcare professionals and breast cancer support groups, it aims to reach as many women, their families and friends as possible. BRA Day 2012 was so successful that Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Fund grant programs will soon be in place for women needing financial assistance with breast reconstruction or wishing to learn about and explore options for same. Several grants of up to $10,000 each will be given to nonprofit organizations that either provide charitable surgical care or are committed to increasing breast reconstruction awareness and education. Grants awarded for the July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014 cycle will be used to support programs, surgeries or care within this timeframe. BRA Day and the grants represent a giant step forward in helping women and their loved ones “Unfortunately, many women diagnosed with breast cancer are unaware of their breast reconstruction options,” observed Charles Verheyden, MD, PhD, PSF president. “These grants aim to provide funds for women to help close the loop on breast cancer.” BRA Day 2013 will be held Wednesday, October 16. Photo: Hand by sarchi on Flickr

ASPS and PSF Launch National BRA Day

National BRA Day Spokesperson
Photo by Fred Greissing, From PSF
October 17, marks the day that National Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day will be launched. Organized by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF), National BRA Day is an effort to increase awareness for the breast reconstruction options of mastectomy patients. The effort includes the U.S. and 20 other countries attempting to reach the 70 percent of  female breast cancer survivors who are eligible for breast reconstruction but are not being informed of their surgical options. National BRA Day was set up to ensure the women, who are grappling with their new appearance after surviving breast cancer and undergoing the life-saving surgery, are being informed and supported by medical professionals working toward the patient’s best interest.

Jewel Chosen as the National Spokesperson

New York Times bestselling poet, humanitarian, and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, Jewel, has been chosen as the national spokesperson. She has written a song recognizing breast reconstruction patients and will be performing a charitable concert in New Orleans. The concert will take place October 29, 2012, during Plastic Surgery The Meeting and the proceeds from the concert will be donated to the PSF. The PSF will then use the donations to support national and local breast reconstruction organizations. The ASPS President, Dr. Malcolm Z. Roth, said about Jewel’s involvement: “We are thrilled that Jewel will be lending her time, talent and humanitarian spirit to National BRA Day. We feel that her passionate voice will help bring awareness to this important cause, and inspire women who are on the road to recovery and a full life beyond breast cancer.” More information about National BRA Day, Jewel’s song and benefit concert, corporate and charity partnerships, how you can get involved, and more can be found on the BRA Day website or the ASPS Facebook Page. Additional information about the history, activities, and events of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and The Plastic Surgery Foundation can be found on their respective websites.