COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — American women have a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer at some point in their lives. Thanks to early detection and advances in treatment, the survival rate is nearly 90%.
However, there are some treatments insurance companies refuse to cover — that’s where The CAPS Foundation comes in. It’s a nonprofit run by Columbus Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery, and for 12 years it has been raising funds for breakthrough innovations that women say insurance companies don’t value. To them, it’s priceless.
Stacy Musselman was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. At the time, her oldest daughter was 14.
“Her first question to me was, ‘Mommy, are you going to die?’ To which I was confident, and was able to answer very clearly that, ‘No, I have a great team of doctors who were going to help me get better,'” Musselman said.
Her youngest daughter, nine years old, broke down and started crying.
“Her biggest concern was if I was going to lose my hair, and at that moment, you know, I had to pause I couldn’t answer confidently, like I did about the death question,” she said.
Musselman was able to keep her hair thanks to an innovative therapy called “Cold Cap,” used during chemotherapy.
“As they’re undergoing their medication, it’s not hitting their hair follicles so it’s able to keep their hair from falling out,” said Kathy Borkowski, CAPS chief operating officer. “So, it’s a it’s cool to such a low temperature that it kind of freezes, the hair follicles.”
A breakthrough, that insurance companies won’t cover. It’s considered cosmetic, as are other treatments that women value.
“Microblading, which helps them to keep their eyebrows, nipple tail tattooing during breast reconstruction surgeries after they’re completed their surgery, they’re able to do that,” said Borkowski.
For a dozen years, CAPS has raised money to provide those treatments for hundreds of women. The chemo and surgery save lives, while cold caps, microblading and tattooing make lives a little better.
“Really, it’s, it’s not just about aesthetics, it’s not about, you know, feeling pretty, or looking a certain way,” said Musselman. “It’s really about the confidence that you have in yourself in the journey, and your caretakers, and all of those things really helped me feel whole.”
All of these services are provided free to cancer patients. At Dublin’s Bridge Park’s Exchange Center on Friday, NBC4’s Colleen Marshall will emcee a fundraise for Caps for the Cure. Raising $100,000 last year, the organization hopes to double that this year.