Friday, September 23, 2011

Breast Health: Is a Pink or Gray Barrier Affecting Your Quality of Life?

Originally Published in 

Breast Health: 
Is a Pink or Gray Barrier 
Affecting Your Quality of Life? 
Ten years ago my then-72-year-old mom came to me for help and shared that she had spent years concealing a painful breast condition. Fortunately, she did not have breast cancer. Unfortunately, no equivalent pink-ribboned industry exists for education and funding for the non-cancerous breast conditions that she and many other women face.

When we sat down to talk, however, she had a new advantage going for her. The previous year, my group founded, a non-profit to help women address the breast conditions that are not supported by “pink funding.” 

My mom admitted that she had stabbing back pain, numbness and tingling down her arms and hands, crushing bruises over her collar bones and painful, sticky rashes beneath her breasts. Her disproportionately large breasts were causing her physical and psychological pain on a daily basis. Unfortunately, no doctor, including her gynecologist, ever addressed this over all the decades in which she suffered.

Many conditions like this are not age-specific, but for women age 50 and older it usually means they’ve suffered longer and have endured further damage along the way. With no major funding for patient education, many women will live out their lives without any relief.

My mom is not alone. Many women don’t realize there is medical help available. If they are aware of the procedures that could help them, some may be affected by the “gray barrier”, thinking they’re too old or that it’s too late. Worse, health-care providers are often reluctant to broach the topic, despite the fact that disproportionately large breasts are medically recognized and covered. What women age 50 and older and of reasonably good health need to know is that these procedures are available, safe and appropriate within their age group. The benefits are improved health and self-esteem, resulting in an increased quality of life after so many years of suffering.

Statistics were not available from the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, but in the United States last year, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that more than half of the 85,000 breast reductions performed were for women 40 and older. A third of those were for women 55 and older.

While medical care for these conditions does exist, proper information and knowledgeable self care is imperative if a woman is to experience a successful surgery, recovery and outcome. has proven invaluable to women, including many in their 50s, 60s and 70s.

One of the most frequently asked questions from women age 50 and older is how well they will heal in relation to their age. Our experience in the last decade has echoed what top plastic surgeon Dr. Grant Stevens of Marina del Rey, California, taught us in our early days. Recoveries for patients between the ages of 20 and the late 70s remain stable and consistent across the board. We’ve also discovered that more mature patients have far less scarring and healing problems than their younger counterparts.

My mom, now 82, experienced a flawless recovery and has enjoyed the last ten years without the pain and encumbrances she struggled with for so many decades in the past. These conditions are clearly worth looking into for the life-changing benefits that can be achieved. It’s not too late to greatly improve your life.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Update on Our Mangled Paypal Account

Paypal effectively mangled our operating funds for pretty much an entire month between August and September. Unlike their agreement, which specifies exactly how and in what time frame they are bound to resolve issues, the circumstances that they hoisted upon us weren't outlined in their own rules of engagement. You see, there was actually nothing wrong with our account. They had requested updated information, of which we produced immediately and fully. But, despite meeting all requirements, our account remained locked.

  Unfortunately, there were no rules for what they were doing to us. They gave no indication as to what to expect or when to expect resolution. We were basically just shut out. As one of their supervisors said, "Even I can't access the people who deal with this". Wow, pretty scary.

  So, with tons of conflicting messages from the various Paypal people we spoke to, basically one hand not knowing what the other hand was doing, there was no end in sight or controls in place to make them accountable. We were simply adrift indefinitely, unable to pay our bills for the first time in the history of our organization. 

  Due to the considerable horror stories we've heard about Paypal seizing accounts, we count ourselves extremely lucky now, however, to have been allowed back into our account where we could retrieve what was rightfully ours.

  But getting our funds back was just half the equation. Having our account locked down also prevented us from our normal monthly business transactions that raises money for the months ahead. August and September are typically good months for us and those efforts have pretty much been lost.

 The emergency fundraising we did via the awesome Amazon payment buttons on the the right of blog here have raised about $700, for which we are grateful. We covered our immediate needs but failed our normal momentum during our down time.

  We are continuing our emergency fundraising via the Amazon payment buttons on the right while we catch up. If you can pay some breast health forward, the person you help may be yourself or someone you love.  ♥

  I am working on the email receipts to the 32 donors who gave last week, please don't think you've been forgotten. Thank you again for your help and support.

Anni Bricca
Founder Breast Health Foundation

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We're Having a Little Emergency!

  Despite a lot of hardships, nothing has stopped us from successfully funding and running our organization for the last 10 years. In fact, we’re proud of the fact that we’re completely virtual, run on a bit of a shoe-string, yet have done so much to help others.

   But in 4 short days, Paypal has taken us out.  After 7 years of being ‘a very good customer’, they requested our non-profit documentation as part of the new IRS compliance. This was no problem. We’re a bonafide 501(c)(3) non-profit since 2001. I went about providing the necessary information the very first day we received notice. We had 4 days to fully comply or our account would be ‘limited’.

  After providing every document imaginable, they asked us to click a series of buttons to change to a different type of account. Not a problem.

 But we were unable to complete the request because of a glitch in their system. It continually took us to the wrong screen.  Many, many calls later only ended in our account being ‘limited’ as the 4 days ran out, which in effect means they have hold of our entire operating expenses for the month of September and beyond. Limited really means seized. OH we can take donations - we just can’t access the funds.

Like maybe - ever.

  I’ve never had to do this, but as the Breast Health Foundation’s founder, I’m putting out an emergency call for our non-profit to mitigate our losses and save our site.

 We are in need of emergency donations due to the actions of Paypal. We opened a non-profit Amazon Pay account to accept these. They had everything ready to go for us in less than 10 hours. I wish I’d known about this sooner - many thanks to Jonathan Leissler. 

  Our new Amazon donation buttons are located in the right sidebar  --->

 Please give if you can. Can you donate a couple ‘Starbucks coffees’ to us?  No, we won’t drink the coffee, we’ll put the money to use running the site! Please give. Our services are greatly needed. The breast care we provide receives no pink funding.
There is more than one breast disease and condition that affects women. We are mainly member supported. These are women who are supported by no one else but themselves, which I think is a crime in itself. Many of these woman are facing surgery today, tomorrow, this week, and depend on us to be here.  Please help if you can.

  Those who know me know I rarely ask for anything - am generally on the other end offering my help. Please hear my plea today and help us bridge the gap.

  Donations are tax deductible. I will manually email out all receipts to donors. Since Amazon payments are new to us, let me know if you need any help or encounter any problems. You can leave a comment here or find me under the same name on Twitter, Facebook, G+ and Gmail: AnniBricca.

Thank you,

Anni Bricca
Founder & CEO
Breast Health Foundation