B.R.A.s of the Bay gives support

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - It’s something nearly everyone has experienced, a family member or someone you know being diagnosed with breast cancer.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, BayCare Clinic is hosting their B.R.A.s of the Bay event.

The event is use to raise awareness on breast reconstruction.

Mylinda Allen shared her cancer journey with Action 2 News and why awareness is needed.

At just 39 years old, Allen was battling triple negative breast cancer.

"The one thing that kept coming through my mind was, 'I'm too young for this,'" Allen said. "'I'm 39. Breast cancer doesn't affect people in their 30's.'"

After 16 chemotherapy treatments she had a lumpectomy -- surgery to remove breast tissue following radiation.

"Given the size of my tumor, I had to have a reduction or what they call symmetry surgery on my opposite side," Allen said.

Some women like Allen have to go through some kind of breast reconstruction surgery.

Many of them don't know their insurance will cover it.

"Breast cancer reconstruction is covered by their insurance company -- and there's a federal law that mandates that," BayCare Clinic plastic surgeon Dr. Elizabeth O'Connor said. "It's just an awareness campaign to raise information into the community."

Local businesses are decorating bras for a contest in the Breast Reconstruction Awareness (B.R.A.) campaign.

80 percent of proceeds will go to Ribbon of Hope, a non-profit organization which helps breast cancer patients in Northeast Wisconsin.

"The fact that we have the ability to not only have a choice but then to be covered based upon the choice that we choose is phenomenal," said Allen.

The bras will be on display and raffled on Thursday, October 17, during a public social event at Badger State Brewing Company.

Tickets to the event are $20 and can be purchased online at baycare.net/AttendBRAday.

Voting takes place until midnight on October 16.

Online voters will be encouraged to choose their favorite bra at baycare.net/BRAday.

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