The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 22

the gist

The Star City Breasties
THE BREASTIES, a national nonprofit organization
founded in February 2018, provides a community and safe
space for young women affected by breast and ovarian
cancers to share their experiences.
Jessica German, ambassador for the Star City Breasties
chapter, established the Roanoke chapter in June 2019,
and hosted several events, including coffee dates, paint
nights, arcade nights and yoga classes to connect women
with similar experiences.
"It's just easier not to talk about it than to make others
uncomfortable. That's why I think having this community
is so very important. We get it. We don't judge each other.
We uplift and encourage each other. We can talk openly
about surgical procedures, complications, emotions, and
struggles," says German.
An official donation website for the Roanoke chapter
recently launched, which German hopes will increase
revenue to fund free activities for members in the area.
"We partner with local businesses and instructors who
are willing to donate time, space, or talent, whenever
possible, to keep the cost of our events free or reasonably
priced," says German.
German says many young women affected by breast and
ovarian cancers feel ashamed or nervous to speak about
22

MARCH/APRIL 2020

their experiences, as the perception is these diseases only
affect older women.
German, who has personally felt the effects of breast
cancer in her family, chose to have a preventative
mastectomy after learning from genetic counseling of a
mutation in the NBN gene, "which means that my body
doesn't produce the proper proteins that act as tumor
suppressors."
"Unfortunately, most people don't understand how
complicated genetic mutations are, and therefore, the
difficult decisions they present," says German. "In my
case, I worried that people would question and judge my
decision to proceed with a major surgery without having a
positive cancer diagnosis. I've had people say, 'at least you
got a free boob job' or 'upgrade.'"
Many women who choose to undergo preventative
surgeries or procedures are met with inappropriate
comments toward their decision.
"I think a lot of women just find that people aren't
informed, and either say inappropriate things or try to
change the subject," says German.
German said The Breasties community provides a
place for women with cancer to process their emotions
and support other women with cancer. -JENNIFER RIALES
TheRoanoker.com

BOB CRANWELL / COURTESY OF STAR CITY BREASTIES

A recently established organization offers support for women affected by breast and ovarian cancers.


http://www.TheRoanoker.com

The Roanoker - March/April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - March/April 2020

The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Intro
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Cover1
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Cover2
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 3
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 4
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 5
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 6
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 7
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The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Cover3
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Cover4
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