SEMINOLE, Fla. - Imagine losing your breasts to cancer and then not being able to afford reconstruction.
Two local women found themselves in that exact situation.
Laurie Gilsdorf struggled through a mastectomy and chemotherapy.
She had to have her second breast removed.
Then, she said her insurance company dumped her with no explanation.
Laurie, who works at a gas station, can't afford plastic surgery.
But now she's going through the reconstruction process, thanks to funds from My Hope Chest.
The non-profit organization was created by former Las Vegas showgirl Alisa Savoretti.
Alisa was also uninsured when she got her diagnosis.
"There was no plastic surgeon that was willing to help me out, so it wasn't that I didn't want reconstruction at the same time as my mastectomy. It's that it wasn't an option for me," Savoretti said.
She saved the money for reconstruction.
Her experience inspired her to create My Hope Chest out of her Pinellas County home.
She began raising money to fund breast cancer reconstruction for uninsured survivors.
Savoretti said, "Our services pick up where all the other breast cancer organizations leave off, providing the final step of breast cancer treatment, which is not being met for the uninsured at this time."
Local plastic surgeon, Dr. Antonio Gayoso, is donating his skills, taking Laurie through reconstruction.
Funds from My Hope Chest are paying for the $1,000 implant and other hospital costs.
Laurie hopes to pay the non-profit back the only way she can, by volunteering when My Hope Chest needs it and they do.
For more information about My Hope Chest, visit www.myhopechest.org .
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