I’m sure you’ve heard about plenty of campaigns to raise awareness of breast cancer. There’s Komen’s Race for the Cure and the entire month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. These events play an important role in raising breast cancer funds and awareness. However, there aren’t a lot of events focused on raising awareness of breast reconstruction, which is one of our main goals here at ITC. To bring more attention to this often-overlooked aspect of breast cancer, we decided to discuss BRA Day.
Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day is an international campaign dedicated to breast reconstruction awareness. Held once a year, it’s scheduled for today, October 19th, 2016.
What is BRA Day?
BRA Day promotes awareness, education, and access of breast reconstruction options. Dr. Mitchell Brown, a plastic surgeon in Canada, thought of the initial concept for BRA Day in 2011. His early idea was a single day of recognition held every year on the third Wednesday in October.
BRA Day expanded into the United States with the help of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Singer/songwriter Jewel became the official celebrity spokeswoman in 2013. By 2014 close to 160 ASPS member practices were holding BRA Day events. Over the years, the campaign continued expanding. It evolved into a yearlong campaign dedicated to education women about breast reconstruction. And in 2015, it welcomed Patti LaBelle as its celebrity spokeswoman.
The USA Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) campaign is now led by the Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF) and the ASPS. It has its own BRA Fund. This fund supports breast reconstruction research and provides financial help to women seeking reconstruction. For those planning a BRA Day event, the campaign offers free starter guides, PR toolkits, and marketing.
Supporting Breast Reconstruction Around the World
Part of BRA Day’s success is its wide-reaching nature. Events are held in almost every state hosts BRA Day events that cover a huge range of activities. There are also many events held in Canada, England, Belgium, and many other countries. All these events seek increase awareness and access of breast reconstruction.
In London, England, St. Joseph’s Hospital will be hosting its fourth annual BRA Day event. Organizers expect around 200 women will attend the event. Roughly 20 women have volunteered to helped out. Among these volunteers are women who have had all different types of breast reconstruction. The event will feature several plastic surgeons and others with breast reconstruction experience. Margeaux Collyer, a 3D areola/nipple tattoo artist, will be in attendance as well.
Meanwhile, the Royal Belgian Society for Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery (RBSPS) has put together a brochure. This brochure provides women with important information about breast reconstruction. It also includes details about each role held by members of typical cancer care teams. Women in Canada can attend any one of various events in places like Edmonton and Calgary. These events feature everything from information tables and show-and-tell lounges to operating room demonstrations. They will also host several plastic surgeons with experience in a range of breast reconstruction options.
BRA Day Events in the United States
For women in the United States, there are a mind-boggling amount of events in various states.
In California, Rosenberg Plastic Surgery will be wearing pink shirts. It will also educate patients on early detection and breast cancer awareness. Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa in San Diego will be collecting bras for donation. And AirXpanders, Inc. is hosting an office lunch and education event for employees.
Meanwhile, the Department of Plastic Surgery at the Loma Linda University Medical Center has a Pink Runway event planned. The event features breast reconstruction patients as models. The Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center in Rancho Mirage has a panel presentation and dinner event. Plus Dignity Health Medical Foundation is hosting a panel discussion with Dr. Amy Wandel at Mercy Cancer Center.
Besides that, physicians are hosting their own BRA Day events. Most of these events consist of everything from educational activities to patient celebrations.
California is not the only state with BRA Day events, though.
Florida’s Wittenborn Plastic Surgery has its fifth Annual BRA Day event. Plastic Surgery Specialists of South Florida have a lecture, raffle, and Q&A session planned. And Watson Clinic, LLP, is offering discounted massage prices to recognize the campaign.
For women in Hawaii, Pali Momi Women’s Center scheduled a girls’ night out event. The event is complete with speakers, health screening, education and stress management activities, and healthy food cooking demonstrations. Meanwhile, Dr. Shim Ching at Asia Pacific Plastic Surgery is hosting a bra decorating contest.
Women can also find everything from raffles to Q&As with plastic surgeons in Colorado. They can learn about the latest breast reconstruction developments in New York. Or they can know that several organizations are showing their support in states like Massachusetts and Virginia. Many facilities have also been celebrating BRA Day in the days leading up to the official event day.
We’ve only mentioned a small amount of BRA Day events here. If you’d like to check for events in your area, look through the official BRA Day list of events.
In honor of BRA Day, we’re giving away boxes of pink macaroons to ten more of our new subscribers this month! Plus, contribute to our Voices of Love contest for a second chance to win. Click on the image below to sign up!