Before becoming an entrepreneur, Vianga spent 19 years in the hospitality industry. In 2005, she launched her own business, Premier Jour Lingerie and Swimwear, a boutique that provides customers with unique lingerie and swimwear experiences and certified bra and breast prosthesis fittings.
Simultaneous to founding Premier Jour, Vianga worked with a major hospital in Toronto to develop an “Official Bra and Breast Prosthesis Fitting Guide.” Vianga shares, “this work inspired me to create after BREAST CANCER in 2012, a charitable organization focused on ensuring financially strained breast cancer survivors have access to the necessities they need.”
Vianga says she is “fiercely passionate about the importance of helping breast cancer survivors find fitted prostheses and bras as part of their recovery journey.” Under her leadership after BREAST CANCER involves over 300 volunteers and interns and has helped support thousands of women. Vianga also founded Bras for Congo, an organization that distributes donated bras abroad to hospitals in the Congo.
Vianga’s sister Natasha plays an integral part in the operation and running of after BREAST CANCER as a certified bra and breast prosthesis fitter. Natasha spends her days fitting clients and fundraising to help after BREAST CANCER get the items needed to support. “We understand the breast cancer journey may start with symptoms but certainly does not end with the conclusion of treatment. This is when the true healing begins, and the need for support is significant and vital.”
Vianga says, “after BREAST CANCER is one of the most innovative breast cancer charities. It’s the only one to acknowledge the ongoing impact of this disease on women; at its inception, during, and post. It offers a unique value proposition as a breast cancer charity—‘celebration’ and ‘cancer’ in the same sentence.” after BREAST CANCER recognizes the tremendous gap between diagnosis and treatment and the aftermath, which has wide-reaching implications for those afflicted with this disease.
after BREAST CANCER offers an understanding of the challenges throughout the breast cancer disease cycle: empathy, support and, most importantly, the opportunity to bring hope back.
“Breast cancer strips women of many things, and we aspire, through our efforts, to bring back women’s femininity, confidence and self-esteem, which are so often lost in their breast cancer journey. We aspire to make women going through this disease feel whole again.”
According to Vianga, the average cost of a Mastectomy Bra is $75.00, a Mastectomy Camisole runs for approximately $95.00, and a single Breast Prosthesis costs, on average, $450.00. These are just some reasons why Vianga feels it is so important to have all programs be of zero cost to the people in need of support.
There are various kits and programs after BREAST CANCER offers. For women undergoing surgery, their kit contains two temporary breast prostheses, a front closure mastectomy camisole and closure mastectomy bra, two drainage pockets, a mastectomy bra and breast prosthesis fitting guide and a message of encouragement from our ambassadors who have completed breast cancer treatment and much more.
The yearly program provides up to three mastectomy bras for women on the after BREAST CANCER program at no cost to them. Every two years, after BREAST CANCER provides breast prostheses for women on the ABC Thrive program at no cost to them. after BREAST CANCER also has workshops in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart, and they have a calendar in which 12 ambassadors are photographed and pampered by some of Toronto’s best stylists, designers, hair and make-up artists and photographers, with proceeds going to after BREAST CANCER.
Some ambassadors have said that the program is “Important for women who’ve had breast cancer to know that there is life after cancer and that you can still be beautiful and vibrant.” And “If the after Breast Cancer program didn't exist, I would still be stuffing my old bras with anything I could find and hoping that it matched close enough for others not to notice.”
To fundraise and make the after BREAST CANCER programs accessible to all, Vianga hosts The Pink Diamond Gala, their premiere fundraising event. This year their goal is to support at least 150 graduates in the ABC Programs. Any contribution to their event or ability to attend will enable after BREAST CANCER to continue to support the important programs offered by the charity and expand their efforts to support a women's quality of life in the aftermath of this devastating disease.
“Most breast cancer organizations focus on research and the cure for breast cancer. after BREAST CANCER focuses on the women who have survived, women who don’t have insurance, and women who cannot have their basic needs met after a mastectomy or lumpectomy surgery,” says Vianga.
The after BREAST CANCER Pink Diamond Gala will celebrate its 11th year on Sunday, September 24th. To sponsor, purchase tickets, volunteer or donate, please visit afterBREASTCANCER.ca or call 647-342-9217