AwareNow: Issuu 17: The United Edition

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Page 37

PERSONAL STORY BY BECKY KOETS RICHARD

BARE TO BE BRAVE

UNAFRAID TO BARE THE TRUTH ABOUT BREAST CANCER In ‘The HEART Edition of AwareNow, we shared the story of a woman who wanted to raise awareness for both Breast Cancer and the Breast Implant Illness she developed because of her reconstructive surgery. However, for Becky Koets Richard, creating awareness was not enough. For her, action was required (and taken).

Myself and a small group of women are working with Michigan House Representative Julie Calley on drafting and introducing a bill that would create a required check list for plastic surgeons to discuss with their patients before breast implant surgery. This checklist will give patients critical information to make an informed decision about breast implants. Included in this checklist will be information regarding:

• The Black Box Warning that was issued on ALL breast implants in 2019

• The breast implant manufacturer’s warning brochure 
 (This is already printed but rarely given to patients.)

• Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) 
 (This is a cancer that is exclusively caused by breast implants and list of symptoms associated with it.)

• Breast Implant Illness (BII) and the common symptoms

We are passionate about getting this information to patients so they will be able to make informed choices. This bill will without a doubt protect Michigan women and their families. Just having access to this information can keep breast cancer patients from suffering the way that I did. We are working hard to get our stories heard. Women have the right to informed consent and we won’t stop until they have it. A similar bill was passed unanimously in Arizona and was just signed into law by their Governor. After we pass this bill in Michigan, we will press on and work to take the bill nationwide to a federal level.

This year 300,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The thought of even one women walking the same path that I did keeps me fired up and motivated to protect each one of them. I’ve walked through hell and I will not stand by and willingly allow it to happen to anyone else. I will do everything in my power to get this information out there. For more information, please visit www.healingbreastimplantillness.com. ∎

EXPLANT TO FLAT

This video documents Becky, a 48 year old breast cancer survivor, getting her breast implants removed. It covers the day of the explant surgery on Dec. 10, 2020 and shows her recovery through Feb. 2, 2021. The implants made her painfully sick since her reconstruction in 2017. Once the implants are removed, her health instantly improves.

WARNING: This video contains

graphic images.

37 AWARENOW / THE UNITED EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com