The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), together with partners Ethicon and Mentor awarded five breast cancer survivors who have shown a great deal of courage and triumph of the human spirit. The recognition was given last week during the inaugural event, the first Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (BRA Day) in the United States.
The Patients of Courage: Triumph Over Adversity program has selected five breast cancer survivor patients for this year. It is the first time the awardees were all previous breast cancer patients. These patients have continued to inspire others after their own battles with cancer and their consequent breast reconstruction surgeries. According to the president of the ASPS, sharing the inspiring stories of these cancer survivor patients is timely and relevant as seven out of ten breast cancer patients are not aware of the possibilities of breast reconstruction surgery. The honorees were presented in the annual ASPS convention wherein the Patients of Courage campaign also paved the way for more discussion regarding upcoming breast reconstruction techniques.
BRA Day USA was held on October 17, 2012. This initiative was first celebrated in Canada to inform and empower breast cancer patients regarding their options of breast reconstruction after undergoing breast cancer treatment. The national spokesperson for BRA Day USA is Jewel, a famous singer and songwriter wrote and dedicated the song entitled ‘Flower’ to highlight this gathering in a benefit concert to support breast cancer patients and breast cancer reconstruction research.
The ASPS Patients of courage of honorees for this year are:
Danielle Beverly from Buford, Georgia
Danielle Beverly learned that she had breast cancer for the third time just when she was about to give birth to her first-born child. However after all the hardships, she found the strength to rise above it all and has inspired the Eric F. Beverly Family foundation which caters to the needs of the financially-challenged breast cancer patient and their families.
Gina Maisano from Oyster Bay, New York
Gina Maisano went through 9/11 three days after she had learned that she had breast cancer with a poor prognosis. But as everything around her crumbled, she found her courage and fought back. She has written two books – The No Surrender Battlefield Guide to Fighting and Surviving Breast Cancer and Intimacy After Breast Cancer: Dealing with Your Body, Your Relationships, and Sex. She also formed a foundation, the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation and a partner website NoSurrenderBreastCancerHelp.org.
Dona Arias from Mountainside, New Jersey
Dona Arias overcame her struggles with breast cancer when she was 39 years old and now runs the nonprofit organization Curemonos, which in Spanish means healing together. She is fluent in Spanish as well as English and her programs reach out to patients who have difficulties with language and cultural barriers and financial instability.
Beth Borden-Goodman from Decatur, Georgia
As the former president of the Sisters Network Atlanta Chapter, Beth Borden-Goodman has gained recognition through her eye-catching efforts to raise funds and promote breast cancer awareness. Her program Pretty in Pink Breast Cancer Makeovers has inspired many cancer survivors and has fueled progress for her African American support organization.
Kim Sport from New Orleans, Louisiana
As a lawyer, Kim Sport directed her fight against cancer by heading the implementation of a neglected law which can benefit breast cancer patients in Louisiana. She has also founded a foundation called Breastoration, an organization which provides assistance for patients who are considering breast reconstruction options after cancer treatment.