I am writing to let you know how important I feel it is to mandate insurance coverage for breast reconstruction for breast cancer patients.

I was 35 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. With this illness comes a huge spectrum of issues. Losing a breast not only has physical implications, such as painful surgeries, scars, and loss of body balance, but also psychological factors.

Having one of my breasts removed meant losing a huge part of my feminity and affected my confidence in myself (in the dating realm). I chose to have reconstructive surgery immediately following my mastectomy to keep my self-esteem and sanity intact as much as possible, and to help alleviate some of the emotional pain that comes along with having a mastectomy.

I did not receive any type of treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation. If this were necessary, I would still have chosen to have immediate reconstruction.

I feel it is important for a woman to have this option available without a financial burden. It is not cosmetic surgery for true cosmetic reasons; it is to help a woman continue to feel like a woman when part of her is gone forever.