Melissa Tancredi is a retired Olympic medalist who played for the Canada women’s national soccer team and who is travelling to Langley this week to talk at a Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day.
The Canadian Cancer Society is hosting its second annual BRA Day event Wednesday, at the Porsche Centre Langley.
And that’s where the 35-year-old Ontario woman will be the keynote speakers.
Tancredi – nicknamed Tanc – is a two-time Olympic bronze medalist with a chiropractic degree and a motivational speaker.
Last year’s inaugural BRA Day event, held at Sky Helicopters in Pitt Meadows, was to a packed house of about 225 people, explained Dr. Paul J. Oxley, a South Surrey plastic surgeon and one of the organizers of the BRA Day.
“Melissa Tancredi, like last year’s guest speaker Alaa Murabit (UN special envoy), has not had breast cancer,” said Oxley, who will be emceeing the event and participating as a panelist.
“She is coming in as a motivational speaker. We believe that having people from different backgrounds, not just cancer, help spread the word and give different perspectives,” he added, noting her presentation will be about overcoming adversity.
Tanc will be joined by a series of experts on hand to answer questions about breast reconstruction and talking about navigating the future.
For instance, Dr. Beth Taylor will speak to fertility issues post cancer. Last year’s organizer, Dr. Dao Nguyen, will discuss breast reconstruction options, while Oxley, himself, will be addressing the future of reconstructed breasts.
In addition to a question and answer session with expert, there’s a fashion show with breast reconstruction patients acting as models. Plus, Oxley said, there will be a show-and-tell lounge, where people can see the results of reconstruction, and ask one-on-one questions.
The event was designed to help women coping with and recovering from breast cancer.
Family members (both men and women) were also invited, where they too can get a better insight into what their loved ones has or is going through and what options are available.
It was designed for people, “whether you are just starting down this road, or if you have completed this part of the journey and are wondering what is next,” the event organizers said of BRA Day’s creation.
The event is being held at the Porsche dealership, at 6016 Collection Dr., in Langley, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11.
Wine and hors d’oeurves will be served starting at 5:30 p.m., providing some time to mingle and view displays. The actual presentations start at around 6:15 p.m.
“These events let women see first hand the possibilities of breast reconstruction in an open and often light-hearted way,” Oxley said.
Pre-registration is not required but options online via Eventbrite.
A CCS program
Although new to the region, BRA Day is a program of the Canadian Cancer Society – a national not-for-profit organization that provides emotional support and information to anyone affected by breast cancer or at increased genetic risk for developing the disease.
“Whether you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and require a lumpectomy or mastectomy, or you are considering prophylactic surgery, the Canadian Cancer Society gives you the information you need to understand your breast reconstruction options and to navigate the health care system,” said CCS.
People can call helpline at 1-888-778-3100, email BreastCancerSupport@cancer.ca, or support.