|St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans|
B.R.A. (Breast Reconstruction Awareness) Day 2013 is busting out all over! Most exciting for Breastoration Foundation will be the New Orleans fundraiser on BRA Day—Wednesday, October 16, 2013, at the Prytania Theatre--the NOLA premiere of the feature film Decoding Annie Parker during the 24th Annual New Orleans Film Festival. If you're interested in attending, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets to the screening itself are $50 each. If you want to participate in the Patron Party event, which includes a gala prior to screening with both Director Steven Bernstein and Annie Parker—one of the two women around which the film revolves—the price is $250. A question and answer session will follow the screening, with Bernstein, Parker, Dr. Alan Stolier (surgical oncologist) and Drs. Sullivan and DellaCroce (reconstructive surgeons from the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery).
Decoding Annie Parker is the fascinating story of the discovery of the breast cancer gene via the true intertwining tales, over fifteen years, of the inspiring lives of the namesake of the film as well as the geneticist who made the breakthrough—considered one of the most important scientific discoveries of the 20th century. I've heard and seen lots of references to this film, but have to admit I assumed it was a documentary. Turns out it is a dramatic film written by Steve Bernstein and starring some well-known actors and actresses, including Helen Hunt (award-winning film and TV actress, perhaps best-known—well, by me, anyway—for her starring role on 90's sitcom Mad About You) who plays the researcher Mary-Clare King; Samantha Morton (critically acclaimed film actress, best-known-by-me for her role as the “pre-cog” in Minority Report) who plays Annie Parker; and Aaron Paul (best-known-by-me-and probably-everyone-else for his Emmy-award winning role as Jesse Pinkman in theTV series Breaking Bad, which my husband and I are currently viewing on Netflix in marathon sessions) who plays Annie's husband. The “spoiler” to this film is that we know Annie Parker is alive and well and ready to answer your questions about her eventful life :-)
“This important film is just as critical to the general public as it is to breast cancer patients and previvors,” says Dr. Scott Sullivan, Co-Founder of the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery—one of the co-sponsors of the premier. “It raises the possibility of a predisposed risk, empowers women to take their health into their own hands, and educates them on the many reconstruction options available...” ('Previvor' is the term coined by 'F.O.R.C.E.' [Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered] to describe a survivor of a predisposition to cancer. FORCE goes on to say that it's important for cancer previvors to consult with a specialist in cancer genetics when determining risk for breast cancer and making risk-management decisions.)
Meanwhile, up here in Minnesota, we'll mark B.R.A. Day in a different way—photos to follow. It's exciting to see the growth in the movement to educate women about their reconstruction options. All over the country. All over the world. Let me know if you are doing anything this year to honor the cause!