Help Maura Go Topless!

In just a couple of months, my cousin, Maura, will be going TOPLESS (temporarily)! She is having a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. A few months later, she will need a second surgery and, later this year, she will be having an oophorectomy (removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes). In total, Maura is looking at 3 surgeries with 4 months of recovery. Her bravery in dealing with all of this has been amazing but, unfortunately, her positive attitude is not enough. Maura has a difficult year ahead of her and I know that she will not only need our moral support but financial support as well.

Maura is a mother of 3 who works with special needs children aged 5-10. She is a friend to everyone and has a perpetually positive outlook on life. When someone needs a hand, she is the first person offering her help or rallying for support. Yet, now that the roles are reversed, Maura is the person who would never want to "burden" her friends and family with her "problems". So, on behalf of her family, I am going to do it for her! I am asking for your help in supporting Maura in any way you can.

Maura's family history is rife with breast cancer. Her grandmother passed away from breast cancer at the age of 46 and her aunt lost her battle with breast cancer at 51. These events led Maura and her sister to get tested for the BRCA2 gene. Unfortunately, Maura tested positive for this mutation. This is when her journey of fighting the risk of cancer began.

Having tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation, Maura was told that she has an 85% chance of developing cancer (compared to the average person's risk of 11%). She also has a 20% chance of developing ovarian cancer (compared to the average person's risk of 2%). The need to continually monitor these issues requires Maura to travel from central Mass to Boston for screenings every few months, although recently these trips have increased to a couple times per week. Doctors told Maura that she has options. She could continue screening and hope to catch the cancer early enough that it would be treatable or she could choose to eliminate as much of the risk as she can by removing those things that heighten her risk:her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes. A mastectomy will lower Maura's risk of breast cancer by 90%. An oophorectomy will lower her risk of ovarian cancer by 98%.

Maura and her family will need financial support over the next year to help offset the high costs associated with her doctor visits and surgeries. In February alone, Maura had 5 appointments in Boston and her doctor's visits will be increasing in frequency throughout the process.

Please help to support Maura in any way you can. A donation of any amount helps and if you can't donate, please share this link and keep Maura in your prayers. On behalf of Maura's whole family and all of those who love her- THANK YOU for all of your support!
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Kimberly Allain 
Boston, MA
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