By Brian Hugins
During an emotional celebration of life at The Uplifting Event, more than 330 Long Island breast reconstruction patients, their families and medical staff commemorated a significant milestone in their recovery journey. The positive energy was palpable at Chateau Briand in Carle Place.
Drs. Randall Feingold, Ron Israeli, Peter Korn, David Light and Jonathan Bank of NY Breast Reconstruction Associates/Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, PC, in Great Neck invited patients to celebrate together and uplift one another. The event reflected the close community of healing that the medical practice has fostered over many years. Also sharing the evening were other surgeons and oncologists who have been integral in the patients’ breast cancer journey.
“The Uplifting Event is something special we wanted to do for our patients and their loved ones; it’s something we feel they deserve after a long road to recovery,” said Randall Feingold, MD, managing partner of NY Breast Reconstruction Associates/Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, PC. “Improbable hurdles have been overcome and important relationships have been fostered, and that should be celebrated.”
The theme of the evening was You Are the Champions. Inspiring musical performances by the doctors and patients took turns in the spotlight with a runway featuring female and male models of courage now thriving after breast cancer. It was a special opportunity to reconnect for women in the Sisterhood of Support Group and for companions of patients in the Brotherhood of Support Group.
Sisterhood of Support Awards were presented to Mary Mahoney, RN, senior director of Emergency Planning and Preparedness for Northwell Health; Teresa LaMonte, RN, registered nurse in Cardiology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center; and Joyce Davis, RN, nurse navigator at Huntington Hospital, for their devotion of time and resources to help women facing mastectomy and reconstruction.
When Mollie Sugarman, clinical director of NY Breast Reconstruction Associates’ Patient Empowerment Program, launched The Uplifting Event six years ago, it had an undeniable impact on both the patients and the medical team. Convinced celebration is a crucial component to successful recoveries, the group is proud to host events like this one and others that uplift the spirit.
“I initially felt self-conscious about attending the event on my own,” said JoAnn, a breast reconstruction patient. “I walked in not knowing anyone and left with 20 new sisters. There was an instant reaching out, warm energy and connection.”
The event raised more than $13,000 for the Breast Cancer Awareness Fund, a program of the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation. In other acts of altruism, guests took photos in front of a step and repeat banner with boxing gloves and received their photo as a gift from Gil Sacks of JoArt Photography, a patient’s grateful spouse who wanted to give back. Everyone received product gift bags from a new toxin‑free skin care line, Beterre Skin Care, created by former patient and thriver Gina Maisano, Dr. Feingold and Dr. Israeli.