25 THE QUEENS COURIER • MARCH 25, 2022 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM oped letters & comments
CLOSE CALL FOR METS STAR
Pete Alonso, fi rst baseman for the New
York Mets, was in a car accident on his way to
the team’s spring training facility in Florida.
According to reports, a driver hit him while
driving through a red light. Alonso’s car was
“T-boned” and tumbled over three times.
His wife said he escaped with just a
scratch. She was driving just behind him and
saw the accident and thought Alonso could
have been killed.
It seems as if Pete was blessed and a divine
miracle occurred! I guess God is a Mets fan!
Frederick R. Bedell Jr., Bellerose
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JACK!
March 12 marked the 100th birthday of
novelist, poet and Beat Generation member
It made me reread one of his best writings,
“On the Road.”
His works remind me of the more adventurous
spirit of youth. Sadly, as we get older,
with more responsibilities and less free time,
there are fewer journeys to take.
But the ideals of Jack Kerouac continue to
live in all of us.
STROLLING THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOOD // PHOTO SUBMITTED BY JOE ABATE
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I am woman,
hear me roar!
BY STACEY PHEFFER AMATO
I am woman, hear me roar! Helen Reddy
said it best, “I am strong, I am invincible, I am
woman.” Th ese lyrics hit me when I met with
a group of women at Bungalow Bar this past
summer. As we enter March, I want to celebrate
these women during Women’s History Month
and all the women who have and continue to
do remarkable things for our community. Th eir
strength inspired me to take on an important
women’s health issue by introducing legislation
to support women by changing the current laws
that dictate how a woman’s body will look aft er
having a mastectomy. Let us give women the full
option of deciding what their post-mastectomy
body will look like. By changing our insurance
law, we will be giving women the opportunity
to choose to have reconstruction of their breasts
or to have a fl at chest wall.
About 1 in 8 U.S. women (roughly 13%) will
be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the
course of their lifetimes. We all know someone
who has gone through breast cancer, and I will
venture to say so many of us know a woman
who had a mastectomy. While many women
pursue reconstructive surgeries, women also
choose to “stay fl at” and pursue aesthetic fl at
closure, rather than a breast reconstruction —
meaning a woman can have a fl at chest wall, or
no breasts. However, this option is not always
covered by insurance.
All women with breast cancer deserve to
have their insurance cover their choice of
surgery: either breast reconstruction, which
is already covered by insurance, or aesthetic
fl at closure, a fl at chest wall with no breasts,
which is not always covered. Women who
forgo breast reconstruction are most oft en
done in one surgery, but about one in four
will require revision to produce an acceptable
aesthetic result (an aesthetic fl at closure). Too
oft en, these women are told that their revision
surgery is “cosmetic” and therefore will not
be covered by insurance.
I can promise you this is not cosmetic
surgery. It is insulting to even say that this
would qualify as such. In fact, to minimize or
trivialize how these women are left — lopsided,
dangling fl aps of skin and scars, so disfi gured
aft er surgery — is just appalling. Th ese are our
mothers, sisters, daughters and friends and they
are entitled to fl at chest wall or reconstructive
surgeries. It’s their choice.
We are now correcting that problem! As we
celebrate Women’s History Month, let us make
history for women by being the fi rst state that
permits aesthetic fl at closure, a fl at chest wall
option, and ensures women in New York have
the right to decide how they want their chest to
look. No longer will we allow any woman to be
damaged and left in an unacceptable state. Th e
way to support women is to ensure that insurance
will cover a woman’s choice to have breasts
or have a fl at chest wall aft er a mastectomy. My
bill, A.8537 will give women, strong and beautiful
women, that opportunity.
As I go forward, I will continue to keep you
all apprised of the developments and work being
done. Every day, we get more and more cosponsors
from remarkable Assembly members
and we have Senator Toby Ann Stavisky leading
the charge in our other house. As always, do
not hesitate to contact my offi ce by phone at
718-945-9550 or by email at amatos@nyassembly.
gov. It is a pleasure to serve you and I
look forward to representing you for many more
years to come.
Stacey Pheff er Amato is a member of the
New York state assembly, representing the 23rd
district in Queens.