Celebrating Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day10/21/2020
Today we celebrate Breast Reconstruction Awareness, or BRA Day! This national initiative started in 2011 to promote education, awareness and access to information regarding post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women. For women who have undergone a mastectomy, psychological distress is not uncommon. Breast reconstruction can often be a step to healing. There are now many options available for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, including reconstruction with implants using donated skin or tissues from a person’s own body. One skin donor can help more than five women undergoing breast reconstruction surgery.
Renewed Strength and Grace
Donor Network of Arizona (DNA) employees virtually came together to hear the incredible story of Naheima Sears. In 2018, Naheima’s doctors discovered two aggressive tumors and began treatment. After months of chemotherapy and immunotherapy, she was declared cancer free. Naheima opted to have a double mastectomy, and received tissue from a donor during her reconstruction.
She wrote to her donor’s family to let them know what their loved one’s gift meant to her.
“I had cancer and needed skin for a chance at living fully. Your loved one gave me that chance, selflessly. I am so immensely grateful…It is my hope that this note warms your grief, knowing that your loved one saved many lives, including mine. I have so much gratitude and so much love for what you did.”
Naheima is back to her active life of surfing and credits her donor with this renewed strength and grace.
Here at DNA, we recover and provide full thickness skin, which can be used for mastectomy reconstruction. This breast reconstruction surgery can empower women who have faced or are going through a breast cancer diagnosis.
DNA employees also shared their own reasons for celebrating BRA Day. One post honored their mom as a breast cancer survivor and shared, “I have never taken for granted the big or small milestones my mom has been there for. She has taught me so many lessons through her positive attitude, and she is truly one of my best friends.”