Steph Muzzin:Breast Implant Illness

5 years ago I met a wonderful, beautiful soul.  We became fast friends and over the years formed a very close bond.  I didn't know it at first, but Stephanie was battling an ever growing health crisis.  Doctors upon doctors could not figure out what was wrong.  As the years went on her symptoms and her body started rapidly getting worse.  Finally she found a doctor who realized what the problem was... this is her story..

Stephanie Muzzin: Breast Implant Illness/Silicone Toxicity

"In November 2005, I made the biggest mistake of my life.
A mistake that has cost me almost everything; this massive mistake was getting silicone breast implants. The doctor, manufacturer and the FDA told ladies they were safe. I even agreed to be in a 10 year study to help them collect data proving they were safe. Just one year after my breast augmentation, the FDA prematurely approved the implants back on the market without sufficient data on their safety and long term outcomes. My medical records from my plastic surgeon mysteriously disappeared, as did hundreds of other women who were involved in these studies. The corruption is incomprehensible and has left tens of thousands of women with no recourse.

I have what is considered Breast Implant Illness (BII) and silicone toxicity. There are too many symptoms to list but a short list of my symptoms is: neck, back and shoulder pain, arm and hand numbness, joint pain, severe food allergies/intolerances, hives, difficulty swallowing, feelings of suffocation, chronic rhinitis, vertigo, brain fog, anxiety, dry eyes, heat intolerance, and heart palpitations. I have also been diagnosed with an immune disease, Eosinophilic Esophagitis, Lyme Disease, Raynaud's Disease, adrenal insufficiency and lesions on my brain and liver. I had to have a hysterectomy in 2012, which is also all too common in women with breast implants. Now even cancer is associated with implants, and as many of you know, both of my parents are cancer survivors. A thermography study this week showed my body is ravaged by inflammation. My body is currently a ticking time bomb and is fighting itself over 40 toxic implant ingredients, including heavy metals, plastic and chemicals.

My surgery and travel expenses total over $14,000, which are all out of pocket. There is a very specific procedure to safely remove silicone implants called En Bloc, which means if there is a rupture that the contents won’t be spilled into my chest cavity upon removal. Additionally, it removes the entire capsule surrounding the implant (which begins to develop as soon as the implants are placed) because that capsule has been absorbing the gel bleeding out of my implants for 13 years. It’s been a struggle to save this lump sum so quickly. Working full time has been extremely difficult at times given how fragile my health has been.  My extra time has been dedicated to advocating for women, going before the FDA and helping to moderate the largest Breast Implant Illness group in the world, with over 51,000 members. I will not be returning to work for several months post-op to give my body time to heal and detox, but I will continue to advocate in hopes that the FDA finally hears us and acknowledges this devastating illness. 

Being a woman who has always loved traveling, spending time with friends and reveling in wine and fine food, this slow progression of illness has been an absolute hell.  People see photos of me and think I look healthy but what lies beneath is far from a picture of health.  I try to hide the days of debilitating fatigue, writhing pain, episodes of anaphylaxis and asthma, and the hundreds of doctor's visits and tests I have embarked on from my family and friends.  Also, the heartbreak and anguish of not being able to have children, all due to this illness.  I wouldn’t wish this on any woman, it’s almost too much to bear.  The side by side photo you see on the left is me not long after getting implants; I was healthy, thin and energetic and the photo you see on the right is one of the many surgeries I've had for ailments caused by the implants.   I’ve been fighting the good fight.   I am hopeful that my surgery will be a success and the future will be full of health and more adventures.  Maybe I will even feel up to training for a 1/2 marathon again one day….

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My surgery is on November 14, 2018. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers in these days leading up to my surgery, on the day of my surgery and the critical months after surgery where my body will be healing itself from being poisoned.  I've secured a loan, sold some possessions and exhausted my savings, I need help with this last $3,000 in order to have all the funds together for my fast approaching surgery.   If you find it in your heart to contribute to my surgery and travel expenses, there is no amount too small.  I will be forever grateful for anything my friends and family are willing to contribute to help me towards healing.  I truly appreciate you reading my story and thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything."

-Stephanie M.


Any and all donations made through this page will go entirely to Stephanie.  The donations will go towards many facets of Stephanie's procedure and recovery (the surgery itself, travel expenses, hotel expenses, the recovery period until she is cleared to return to work, and so much more).   I know many people are very excited for Stephanie to start this new chapter post explant.  I cannot wait to see her reclaim her life and her health!  Love you Steph with all my heart!
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Organizer and beneficiary

Lauren Hockman Hrebenak 
Organizer
Bowmantown, VA
Stephanie Muzzin 
Beneficiary
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