AIRS Foundation Celebrates Official Launch Event in Campaign To Make Breast Reconstruction Affordable to Mastectomy Patients
Alliance in Reconstructive Surgery Spotlights Real-Life Stories, Education — and Celebrity Supporters — at Chateau Marmont
HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont played host Monday evening, October 14 to the launch event for the AIRS Foundation, the 501(c)(3) that is raising awareness — and funds — for women who have had mastectomies and want reconstructive surgery, but cannot afford it, according to AIRS Co-Founder Morgan Hare.
The by-invitation-only event launching AIRS– which stands for “Alliance in Reconstructive Surgery” and for which New Beauty magazine served as a media sponsor — spotlighted, Hare said, “real-life stories of hope and healing.” She noted that AIRS provides funding for breast reconstruction, as well as education for physicians and the medical communities, mastectomy patients, caregivers, and advocacy groups. “While every woman who has had a mastectomy might not feel a need for reconstructive surgery,” Hare said, “AIRS now makes it possible for a breast cancer survivor who wants reconstruction to have it, regardless of her financial plight.”
The advocacy organization was co-founded in 2012 by Hare and by Janet Denlinger of Dallas-based Hylaco, LLC, as well as by internationally renowned plastic and reconstruction surgeon Dr. Rod Rohrich, who, with Hare, attended and co-hosted the October 14 event.
“Restorative breast surgery is vital to comprehensive physical and emotional healing for breast cancer survivors,” Rohrich said. “Yet most women who would choose reconstructive surgery simply are not able to because of the high cost. AIRS fills this need. AIRS is dedicated to supporting and funding a woman’s right to restoration, education, health, and wholeness.”
Hylaco Chief Scientific Officer Janet Denlinger agreed that every woman, independent of her circumstances, should be offered the entire range of reconstruction options at the time of her mastectomy so she is able to make an educated decision about what is right for her.
“At the AIRS launch event we came together to celebrate not only the technical advances in our field,” she said, “but also the real women, their real stories, relationships, and recoveries, all of which are nurtured by the ability to make women whole again after mastectomy.”
“As a surgeon for both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, it was wonderfully inspirational to be able to join with Morgan and Janet to launch AIRS,” Rohrich added. “We wanted to create a nonprofit that makes its mark not only with education for patients and their caregivers, but for the healthcare community. Our goal is to deliver enhanced treatment and outcomes.”
Hare pointed out that while federal and state laws may call for insurers to cover the cost of reconstructive surgery, that government safety net is, she said, “full of holes.”
She added: “Many women don’t have insurance, or have high co-pays, or are without the means to make an educated decision on reconstructive surgery. We want to provide education as well as financial support for these women. As leaders in a national movement for health and healing, we want to ensure that every woman who needs and wants reconstruction gets it.”
Alliance in Reconstructive Surgery Foundation (AIRS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping survivors of mastectomy around the world restore normalcy to their lives by providing access to reconstructive breast surgery. Founded in 2012, AIRS provides physician training, opportunity, and funding to make that possible. AIRS’ mission is to help women who cannot afford this procedure. Restorative breast surgery is a vital part of total physical and emotional healing for many breast cancer survivors. Yet seven in 10 of those who want reconstructive surgery do not have adequate insurance or financial resources to pay for it.
Educating women about post-mastectomy options is of particular importance, especially when a large percentage of women diagnosed with breast cancer are unsure– or unaware — of their reconstruction options. Most breast cancer patients who have had a complete or partial mastectomy (removal of all or some of the breast tissue and nipple) are candidates for reconstructive surgery. AIRS works in partnership with doctors worldwide, providing the resources to make reconstruction a reality for cancer survivors. To this end AIRS also provides physician education and training, globally, while supporting advances in healthcare research.
Please visit us at: www.airsfoundation.com.
SOURCE AIRS Foundation