To all my friends, family, advocates, and supporters:
This year, I am doing something huge!
On Saturday, June 3, 2017, I will be modelling in one of Austin's most theatrical and esteemed fundraisers - Art Bra Austin - benefitting the Breast cancer resource center. Art Bra Austin is a fully- costumed, professionally produced runway show and auction that raises funds to support local women who , like me, have been affected by breast cancer.
By supporting me me, you will ensure the next woman diagnosed with breast cancer will have a place to ask their questions , explore their options, and connect with fellow survivors and lifers who can relate in a way no one else can.
My name is Amanda Pinon-Castro. I am 35 years old and a mommy to 2 great kids. My motto in life has always been embracing the best of every situation by making someone else's day bright. My faith and personality has always pushed me to be the person that always helps others and can never say no. When I was 21, I found my first lump. After several tests and a biopsy it was surgically removed and was found to be non-cancerous. Life went on and it never phased me again. On February 20, 2016, my husband and I were on a weekend getaway when something inside me told me to conduct a self-examination. I followed my instincts and sure enough I found a lump on the opposite breast. I screamed for my husband and he felt it as well. The next morning my Dr. Sandra Worrell, did her exam and agreed. As a result, a mammogram was ordered that week followed by a biopsy and Ultrasound. We were take to a back room and that's when my life would change forever. The Dr. stated the tests reflected the early stages of breast cancer. I sat there in shock but immediately that day began to research and ask myself how to process it all. I began to contemplate telling my kids and my parents but at the same time being strong not shedding a tear. My next week's to follow were hectic finding a surgeon that best fit my needs and follow my wishes when finally I found Dr. Nancy Marquez whom made me feel relief and assurance all would go well. I elected a bilateral mastectomy with a DIEP FLAP reconstruction when she recommended Dr. Nabil Habash. Everything happened so fast and on May 3, 2016 I was being prepped and rolled down these walls while fighting my eyes closing and seeing huge bright lights with so many nurses and doctors surrounding me. After about 10 hours I woke up to my husband and just never ending pain feeling as if hit by a bus. I had so many tubes and drains coming out of my body and 2 days later it sunk when I saw myself in the mirror my body would never look the same. My womanhood had been taken in so many ways and I would never have feeling in so many areas of my body. Everyday I see my scars, feel the pain from still healing and think of this evil disease that tried to take me but 11 months later I'm here and still pushing myself. Cancer leaves it marks and for some doesn't stop there. After cancer I am now dealing with epilepsy, diabetes, stage 2 liver fibrosis, and heart issues. I don't know where I would have begun my lonely journey without the help of the Breast cancer resource center. My navigator had helped me tremendously in a time of distraught through support groups, resources, and most importantly things needed for surgery and while recuperating that I would have never knew I needed. It is a great feeling that my navigator is someone who has been through this journey and knows exactly how this disease affects you. My support group is whom mentioned the Art Bra Austin show and I thought wow this is a time to shine. Something where my personality and sass could be shown and a time that scars, tears, financial stress, and worries can't take away from me. So as a woman who has overcome this disease it's my turn to advocate and educate other women that age doesn't discriminate. Take control of your body, do your own self exams and know that there is always a warrior out there to hold your hand and guide you through the journey. Know that you are not alone and with God by your side you can get through it.
Help. Hope. Here.
Breast Cancer Resource Center
Art Bra® Austin
Art Bra® Austin is a charity fundraiser like no other. Every year, Austin's talented community of artists, designers, and jewelers submit their original works of wearable art to be showcased by a dynamic group of Art Bra® Austin Models - all breast cancer survivors and clients of BCRC. This feisty group of BCRC clients reflect the diversity of the thousands of women we serve annually. For most, Art Bra® Austin is a transformative experience. The unique event is a tribute to their courage, strength, and tenacity and the result is a triumphant show filled with light, color, movement, and most of all - attitude!
Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC)
The Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) is a nonprofit organization providing guidance, education, and assistance to thousands of local women whose lives have been disrupted by breast cancer. Staffed by breast cancer survivors, BCRC helps each woman find her footing and determine the solutions that are right for her.
BCRC was founded in 1995 as a volunteer-staffed helpline and a single support group. Today, in addition to being survivors, BCRC staff are trained support professionals and experts in where to go, what to do next, and how to keep a woman moving forward through diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. We serve more than 2,200 women annually, offering personalized guidance, robust educational opportunities, and several financial and personal assistance programs. All of it – free of charge – to the client.