Who We Are.
Keeping Us Abreast is patterned after Keeping Abreast UK. Through introductions with our British friends across the pond, Ginger & Stacey took it upon themselves to start Keeping US Abreast. Each of them had their own reasons to pursue this venture.
Ginger Mars is a nurse practitioner in reconstructive plastic surgery. As such, she has seen all types of breast reconstruction and has dealt with multiple patients as they deal with the various surgeries and body images changes that occur. Stacey Hyman underwent reconstructive surgery opting for a preventative double mastectomy and PAP flap after a positive BRCA1 diagnosis. She has first-hand experience in what it means to undergo reconstructive surgery.
Our motivation to start Keeping US Abreast was in seeing how little support was available to women forced to make the reconstructive choice; and, once the decision was made for reconstruction, how their sense of self was affected, sometimes to the point of being detrimental to recovery. Who better to help someone through this time than another woman who has undergone a similar procedure, with a similar lifestyle? As such, Keeping US Abreast was formed.
What We Do.
Keeping US Abreast seeks to provide emotional support for women undergoing or considering breast reconstruction through several means:
- Creating ‘Breast Buddies’ – matching women volunteers who have undergone reconstructive surgery with women considering or undergoing similar procedures with similar diagnoses, ages and lifestyles as an added support system and mentor.
2. Hosting events to assist women in maintaining a positive body image including, but not limited to:
- Fashion shows
- Photo shoots
- group discussions
3. Hosting information events for women considering reconstructive surgery such as:
- Informational talks by local surgeons
- Show and Tell presentations (small, private events for women only, where volunteer models who have undergone reconstruction show their results to women considering reconstructive procedures).