Within a 12-hour period, he became a father, performed surgery, and hosted a breast cancer reconstruction fundraiser. This is a man with boundless energy, enthusiasm, and humanitarianism.
Forever Femme, a fundraiser for post-breast cancer reconstruction awareness was held at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, hosted by Dr. Michael K. Obeng. A prominent Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Obeng is Harvard trained, board certified, and the founder of R.E.S.T.O.R.E., a non profit that provides pro bono surgeries to third world victims.
Set amidst a beautiful garden, a cocktail party was in full swing with guests adorned in everything from an Indian sari to Armani. They sipped champagne and noshed on shrimp with pineapple, sliders, and mushroom canapés. The pink rose centerpieces draped with crystals were a slam dunk.
Suzanne Whang, host of House Hunters and a stage four survivor, emceed. “I’m so happy to be here tonight. Actually I am happy to be anywhere, after being told by my oncologist that I’d be dead by now.” This gal has perseverance. She reversed her prognosis after convincing her plastic surgeon to use extra cellular matrix powder from a pig’s bladder to regrow human tissue and cartilage.
“Research revealed that 70% of women who opted for breast reconstruction still do not know their options. While legislation mandates that insurance companies pay for reconstruction, legislation doesn’t help women with their deductibles or their co-pay and that can be up to $10 to 20,000. It also doesn’t help with household expenses or recovery time which can be up to nine months.”
Author Sarah Brokaw was honorary chair. The daughter of famed broadcaster, Tom, Brokaw was inspired to write about Beth-Borden Goodman in her New York Times bestseller and introduced her.
Beth had her first lumpectomy in the eleventh grade. She had several other cancer surgeries as an adult. After a mastectomy, she had reconstruction by having fat taken from her stomach and put it into her breast. “I don’t have to wear a bra; I decide to.” The third surgery in this series was a correction by Dr. Obeng.
“I had health issues: One of my implants had shifted. I didn’t have health insurance. A friend made a phone call to Dr. Obeng, who said, ‘How soon can you get to Ohio?’ Three weeks later I was restored.” She is five years cancer-free.
Hannah Merchant produced the evening. Singer/songwriter Alissa Griffith performed.
Newly based in Beverly Hills, Dr. Michael Obeng (MIKO Plastic Surgery) has come a long way from his modest Ghana roots. He returns there with his volunteer services. After his video was shown, he said, “I can’t do this alone. We teach the local surgeons. Plastic surgery is a luxury to them.”
Said Dr. Obeng, “Oct. 17 was named National BRA (Breast Reconstruction Awareness) Day. R.E.S.T.O.R.E. teamed up with them. One in eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer in this country. We have to do something about that.”
He continues, “Beth is being honored Friday by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons at their annual meeting. There were 1,000 applicants. She’s one of a kind!”
Sue Facter owns a news agency that specializes in the luxury brand. Her work appears in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Women’s Day Australia, on broadcasts and the web.