TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and there is always a strong focus on screenings, breakthroughs and treatment options. But what about women left without breasts who have no way to afford reconstructive surgery?
My Hope Chest in Pinellas County is the only national charity to fund reconstructive surgery for women left with no way to afford the costly surgeries and it’s run by a woman known as the “Showgirl Survivor.”
“They padded my costume and I called myself the lopsided showgirl because I can make fun of me,” said Alisa Savoretti, the founder of My Hope Chest.
Savoretti is from Tampa Bay but was dancing in Vegas when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and she came home to heal.
“It was Pinellas County Social Services that had money that saved my life. They paid for my mastectomy and my chemo but that’s where the funding stopped,” she said.
Struggling to find the funds for her own reconstructive surgery, Savoretti quickly realized there was a need to help other women feel whole. So, she founded “My Hope Chest,” which has now served women nationwide for 16 years.
“When it’s your defining femininity, you’ve survived horrible cancer treatment, you may have lost your husband, your home, your job, then you’re left with these scars and then you say where is the help,” she said.
My Hope Chest helps women from around the country and the waitlist to get in is long. Savoretti is always looking for corporate sponsors and individuals wanting to help put more women become what she calls butterflies.
“A woman goes from being disfigured and left with a scar – we say she’s been transformed into a new butterfly,” she said.
My Hope Chest will be teaming up with Aston Martin Tampa Bay tonight at 6 to raise much-needed fundings. There will be food, music and incredible silent auction items up for grabs.
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