The BRAVE Coalition continues to assemble life changing resources while connecting professionals and communities that support every BRAVE Breast Cancer Survivor on her journey to live a BRAVE day, today and EVERYDAY.
The founding of BRAVE Coalition Foundation was inspired based on the vision and words of Italian surgeon and pioneer of plastic surgery, Dr. Gaspare Tagliacozzi: to EDUCATE, RESTORE, to BUOY the SPIRIT, and to HELP the MIND.
Dr. and Mrs. Allen Gabriel with BRAVE Founder,
Ms. Christine Grogan- Friends with Purpose!
March 21, 2012, Dr. Allen Gabriel and Ms. Christine Grogan launches BRAVE Day.
With the release of several press releases and the tenacious garnering of industry support throughout the nation, BRAVE Day generated support and awareness for the Pink Lemonade Project, a 501c3 that Dr. and Mrs. Gabriel had founded to empower, educate and support those with breast cancer. Dr. Gabriel worked tirelessly with governors of Oregon, Washington and Kentucky to gain acceptance and proclaim this day as a recognized holiday every year. Dr. Gabriel and Ms. Grogan wanted this day to be nationally recognized for women to learn about their rights for breast reconstruction after breast cancer surgery.
When BRAVE embarked on this very worthy mission almost a decade ago, we were certain BRAVE Coalition Foundation as a standalone foundation would not be necessary. We were confident it would only be a matter of time before the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 would resolve breast cancer reconstruction gaps leaving no need to establish a formal foundation with BRAVE's one of kind mission and vision. Sadly, our optimism and faith in the efficacy of the act of 1998 was greatly mistaken. The necessity for a separate nonprofit addressing medical insurance gaps the 1998 Act did not address became crystal clear.
BRAVE Coalition Foundation was officially launched in 2013. Since the early days, BRAVE has generated elevated awareness, changed perceptions, and set a new standard of care for treating women diagnosed with breast cancer - treat the entire woman-her body, mind and spirit. BRAVE has successfully pioneered building a real and effective coalition. As the FIRST nonprofit of its kind, BRAVE continues to assemble life changing resources while connecting professionals and communities that support every BRAVE Breast Cancer Survivor on her journey to live a BRAVE day, today and EVERYDAY.
BRAVE's board and founder have managed to blaze a trail in a landscape saturated with breast cancer support foundations too numerous to count by creating the FIRST nonprofit of it's kind that identifies and fills legitimate gaps in a way that no other organization has done. BRAVE's original team recognized a gap in general awareness of reconstruction options and disparity in healthcare for women in underserved demographic groups. Always placing a strong focus on underserved demographics both domestically and abroad, notable and unique programs BRAVE has pioneered include working with plastic surgeons and nonprofits to provide hundreds of tissue expanders to women in underserved regions like Armenia, Mexico, and Africa.
The original vision remains-first, BRAVE educates women to ensure they understand their medical options for breast restoration and second, BRAVE fills every legitimate financial and emotional gap prioritizing those very underserved demographic groups that just don’t have the means even if they knew all of their options.
BRAVE remains relevant and distinct from other breast cancer organizations in our focus on improved quality of life, confidence and self-esteem for breast cancer survivors. Make no mistake, BRAVE applauds the medical and philanthropic efforts dedicated to advancing treatment options and finding a cure. While very necessary cancer research continues, BRAVE will continue to work in parallel to ensure breast cancer survivors understand their rights, options and have access to those options while addressing state level gaps that supersede the federal Act of 1998 and medical insurance reimbursement issues.
Dr. Gabriel, Ms. Grogan and the entire BRAVE Coalition have and will continue to contribute their time, talent and treasure with the same tenacity and vigor as they have since BRAVE was merely recognized one day a year.
We will not stop!