County natives instrumental in bringing Kellie Pickler
to the area for the B.R.A. benefit concert
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[December 18, 2015]
from left to right are Maria Ansley, Kellie Pickler, Dr. Nicole Sommer
and Bethany Tschantz. Pickler performed a concert at Boondocks in
Springfield last Thursday night and all three women pictured with
Pickler played a huge role in the event known as the B.R.A. Benefit.
Two of the women, Maria Ansley and Bethany Tschantz are Logan County
natives. Maria (Long) Ansley grew up in Lincoln and is a medical
photographer while Bethany (Davis) Tschantz grew up in Elkhart and
is a nurse practitioner. Both women work at the SIU Institute for
Plastic Surgery along with Dr. Sommer.
Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day is an initiative designed by the
American Society of Plastic Surgery to promote education, awareness
and access regarding post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. “Breast
cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States,
yet less than one-fifth of American women who undergo mastectomy
currently choose to undergo breast reconstruction,” claims Dr.
Nicole Sommer, associate professor at the Institute for Plastic
Surgery at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
Earlier this year, Dr. Sommer, medical photographer, Maria Ansley,
and nurse practitioner, Bethany Tschantz of the SIU Institute for
Plastic Surgery submitted a grant application to the Plastic Surgery
Foundation and were selected to receive a Breast Reconstruction
Awareness Fund Public Awareness Award. This monetary award helped
support the Institute’s efforts to increase breast reconstruction
awareness and educate the public.
SIU School of Medicine’s Institute for Plastic Surgery teamed up
with Boondocks to present the “B.R.A. (Breast Reconstruction
Awareness) benefit” featuring Kellie Pickler at Boondocks on
Thursday, December 10, 2015.
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Kellie is an American Idol alum, former Dancing with the
Stars winner, and currently starring in her very own reality
show “I Love Kellie Pickler” airing on CMT. This topic is near
and dear to her heart as Kellie’s best friend was diagnosed with
breast cancer at the age of 35 and Kellie shaved her head with
her to help raise awareness about early screening.
The B.R.A. event was a night of great music and education
regarding breast reconstruction to the near 500 people in
Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day inspires women to know
that life beyond breast cancer can be very fulfilling. The surgeons
and staff at SIU Institute for Plastic Surgery strive to support
women on their journey and make them feel whole again.
For more information, to learn more about B.R.A. day, or to see
pictures from the recent event please visit:
[News release from the SIU School of