Chronicling and sharing women's stories about breast cancer

Vera Trifunovich is interested in stories about breast cancer: how it has touched women and their loved ones, how they've been able to beat it or live with it.

"We're telling stories of breast cancer because we believe in the healing power of storytelling and sisterhood," she said.

Trifunovich's own breast cancer story started 27 years ago when she lost her mother to the disease. Her diagnosis came in July 2016.

"August 11, 2016, I had a mastectomy of the right breast," she said. "Following that, I started chemotherapy."

Trifunovich said a network of friends and friends of friends helped get her through it. It also gave her an idea.

"I know so many women that have the most amazing stories, so many inspiring and incredible and interesting women. I want to start filming them," she said. "Their stories need to be heard because their stories are going to help other women get through this."

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, she said.

One year ago, Bare Breasted Against Breast Cancer was born.

"Our slogan is 'Let's get breast cancer off our chest' so we're baring our souls," Trifunovich said. "Giving people advice, how to deal with the drains and the tubes, and how to be comfortable, so it doesn't seem so huge and so overwhelming and terrifying."

So far, the organization has released a series of videos. Some feature breast cancer survivors, like Vernal Sanders, others feature women, like Kim Galway, still battling the disease. Some show a caregiver's perspective.

Amy Salzman will be featured in a forthcoming segment about her experience taking care of her mother. She's also vice president of Bare Breasted's board.

"I was immediately attracted to the idea of stories that can help me get through a difficult situation," Salzman said. "That can teach me how to talk about it, can teach me how to think about it, can teach me how to take care of myself and my family."

Bare Breasted Against Breast Cancer plans its first major fundraiser in late October to fund a series of videos about the ways art can help people heal.

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