Breast cancer can be exhausting, and the toll of navigating the ins and outs of what insurance may or may not cover can overwhelm patients to a point where they may miss out on resources available to them.
Alala is here to help.
Pronounced a-lay-la, it’s a Greek war cry that embodies the company’s objective of declaring war on the difficulties women experience when breast cancer enters their lives.
Chatting with founder and cancer survivor Sherry Norris after one of Alala’s lunch and learn presentations with area surgeons, she shared some of the obstacles that prevent women from utilizing their health benefits to the fullest. Many women do not know that items such as special bras and well-fitted prosthetics are covered by their insurance.
“Education,” Norris said, “is the biggest obstacle we face. We’re dedicated to informing surgeons, oncologists and, most importantly, the patients themselves on the availability of our services and that their insurance will cover these specialty items.”
“It’s essential to us that patients know we’re here for them. Your doctors’ focus is saving your life. They might miss the part where patients are worried about what they look like in a bra, and that’s where we come in,” she added.
Alala is unique in that it makes the road to obtaining a prosthesis easier by handling the task that prevents many women from taking full advantage of the benefits afforded to them when breast cancer strikes: filing an insurance claim.
“There are boutiques that offer excellent products and support, but the patient is on their own when it comes to filing a claim,” Norris said. “For some, it’s confusing. For others, it’s just one more burdensome task in an already full schedule. Alala is happy to take that off your hands and make this process easier.”
Norris also wants patients to know that prosthetics are not solely for those who’ve undergone recent mastectomies.
“Whether one of our breast cancer warriors has had a mastectomy, a lumpectomy or even reconstruction, insurance is required to cover prosthetics and bras. It doesn’t matter if the surgery was today or 30 years ago,” Norris declared.
Norris recently had an experience that reinforced her conviction in Alala’s mission.
“We were headed back from an education session at a cancer survivors’ walk when I stopped to grab some strawberries at a strawberry farm. A woman working there saw my Alala shirt and whispered, ‘I’m a survivor,”’ Norris said.
“I don’t know why I told you that,” the woman laughed. “I’ve been wearing sweaters for the last 30 years to hide my mastectomy.”
Norris made an appointment for her and now, decades later, she’s not covering up with sweaters anymore.
“Our cancer warriors just want to feel whole again, and that outlook is different for each person,” Norris said. “Prosthetics are great, but women with flat chests still want to have beautiful bras, too.”
“Also,” Norris happily declared. “These aren’t your grandmother’s bras! We’ve got styles that are cute and suit every figure.”
Alala is here to help you thrive. Whether it’s an appointment with one of its nationally certified mastectomy fitters for prosthetics or assistance in navigating the array of available products or even meeting the financial challenges patients face, Alala is there.
“Even if you’re a years-long survivor of breast cancer and you’re uncomfortable in your bra or current prosthetic, we can help remedy that. Please contact us. Alala is here to help.”
For more information and to schedule an appointment, visit alala.info.
By Amy Gesell