BROWNSVILLE, Brooklyn (PIX11) – Breast cancer survivors are raising a glass to what’s behind them – days of treatment and medication – and now they’re being recognized for it at Brookdale Hospital.

“To see so many beautiful faces here enjoying the celebration, it just really brings home what I do, my commitment to this community and seeing the hospital give back,” Dr. Simone Mays, a breast surgical oncologist said.

This day is meant for the survivors to relax and be pampered. New wigs were also provided to the women. Martha Surgener, an 82-year-old breast cancer survivor, loves her new hairdo.

“I feel good today,” Surgerner said. “Matter of fact, I feel good every day I wake up. Before I put my feet on the floor, I thank God that I put my [feet] on the floor to see another day.”

Post-mastectomy bras with silicone inserts were also given out, which Inga Kuzmenko, a certified orthotic and mastectomy fitter, says has helped many women regain their confidence.

“Once their breasts come off, most of them become depressed and become upset and once they have this and we put them in, it’s like having your own back again,” Kuzmenko said.

Many of the vendors supplying the services are survivors themselves, including Maureen Brody. She gave facials to the survivors with an oncology-friendly skincare line she created called Legend of the Spa Skincare,which has raw ingredients.

“Going through radiation, you need to hydrate constantly on your skin and I couldn’t find anything that was chemical-free,” Brody said.

Sophia Taylor and other survivors also addressed the crowd to encourage and motivate others for their new life ahead.

“I’m going to always make it my business to come and reach out to the people with breast cancer to show them there is life after breast cancer,” Taylor said.

Dr. Mays is reminding all women to get their annual exams.


“You don’t have to have a family history,” Dr. Mays added. “You don’t have to have a laundry list of risk factors. Just being a woman and having breasts and getting older, you’re at risk.”