About one in eight U.S. women (about 13%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2021, an estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S. Self-examination and early detection mean that over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the U.S. today. As part of treatment, some women may need or opt for a mastectomy and may eventually require reconstructive breast surgery.
Often, however, that surgery does not recreate the areola/nipple, resulting in a breast that does not resemble the one that was lost. Rose Marie Beauchemin-Verzella set out to change all that. Founder and director of education of the Beau Institute of Permanent Cosmetics, she launched the Beau National Day of Hope to offer complimentary 3-D areola tattooing. “It is our way of giving back,” she says, calling the procedure “life-changing” for breast cancer survivors.
This year, to celebrate the Annual Day of Hope’s 10th anniversary, the Beau Institute will join forces with Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) and the American Academy of Micropigmentation (AAM) to expand outreach nationwide and reach more women. “The AAM strives to be a pillar of support for PMU Artists and is honored to partner with Beau Institute for this year’s Day of Hope Event,” says Sheila Bella, AAM president and executive director. “Additionally, we are thrilled to be extending our support to deserving clients around the world.”
During more than 25 years as a permanent makeup practitioner and trainer, Beauchemin-Verzella had the opportunity to meet breast cancer survivors. Many were unable to complete their breast reconstruction journey, not only because of the cost, but also the trauma for enduring yet another operation. As a result, each day they lived with a reminder of their cancer. Day of Hope works to change all that.
Now with the participation of AAM, artists all over the U.S. will be able to donate their services, setting aside one day to help one client or several. According to the AAM website, membership in the organization is not necessary for artists to participate. Once registered, the artist will receive helpful recommendations for setting up the event.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 7, the Beau Institute, located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, will offer complimentary areola/nipple tattooing. Those interested, should call 856-727-1411 to make an appointment. The Beau Institute also will offer a scholarship to a breast cancer survivor, who is either a permanent makeup professional or a medical professional, for a 3D/4D Areola Training Class. Applicants can apply on the institute’s website. “Many people do not realize all the groups such as the Beau Institute that are out there to help,” says Jean Sachs, LBBC’s CEO.”You are not alone.”
Areola/Nipple Tattooing is a method used to create an image of the nipple using dimensional shading and pigment to provide realism. Nipple tattooing usually costs from $350 to $500 a breast or $700 to $1500 total for both. Beau Institute offers the tattooing free all year long during training classes. If a woman prefers the process to be private, that can also be arranged. “The goal,” says Beauchemin-Verzella, “is to make a breast cancer survivor aware of her options as she travels the road to full recovery.”
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