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Meet Our GPAC Team Members

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Robyn Towt - Co Founder

Robyn is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in 2017, had a double mastectomy and reconstruction with Mentor Silicone breast implants which caused an array of debilitating health issues. Robyn had explant surgery after just four months of having implants and her symptoms completely resolved. This experience led her to become an advocate for raising awareness about breast implant safety.

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Terri Diaz - Co Founder

Terri is a breast implant illness survivor who has been harmed by breast implants. Terri became involved in patient safety advocacy after experiencing a 10-year debilitating illness due to an adverse reaction to breast implants placed in 2006. Terri was not informed of the side effects associated with breast implants at the time of implant. 

Robyn and Terri first met when they were paired as roommates when they were invited to speak at the FDA in September of 2018. This was the first meeting in recent years on breast implant safety. Since then, they have been advocating and raising awareness for safe medical devices and improved patient outcomes. 

Robyn and Terri began connecting with other patient advocates all over the world; this prompted the idea of creating a network of Global Advocates to implement changes and share ideas... GPAC was born.

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Mission

GPAC is committed to working collaboratively to endorse, support, and empower our global patient advocates by implementing positive changes in each country, utilizing the skills and network of our amazing colleagues. 

Vision

GPAC is working to ensure that every patient is given the proper safety information to make an educated and informed decision about their medical procedures.

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 Our GPAC Team Members

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Melissa Puryear  Investigative Research Analyst and Media Content Creator

Melissa Puryear is a breast cancer survivor. She opted for a bilateral mastectomy to prevent the risk of a future cancer diagnosis. In December 2016 she had Allergan Natrelle Inspira Gummies placed under the muscle, which had not yet met FDA clearance. By the fall of 2020 it was obvious her health was in severe decline, and she moved across country to be nearer to her mother. By Spring 2021, only two weeks prior to a scheduled enbloc explant, she was dying. She was admitted to a VA Hospital ICU where they stabalized her, after her heart was flatlining. The ER doctor and the ICU doctor were conflicted as to the cause. They were unaware about sensitization, and toxicity overload, or heart arithymias and dangers that women experience with breast implants. 

Melissa met Robyn over a phone conversation after Robyn shared about an upcoming FDA trip about new legislation regarding the Black Box Warning on Facebook. Melissa became instantly intrigued with the team of women who were showing a united front against breast implant misinformation. She promised Robyn she would help in whatever capacity she could when she regained her health. Melissa kept that promise and joined GPAC as an investigator in 2022, using her journalism and communication experience to bring awareness to these devices that pose an incalculable risk.  To learn more about Melissa's story, click here.   Melissa's Story  Melissa's Journalism

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Julie Christie GPAC Canada Investigative Researcher and Content Creator

Julie Christie was 17 years old in 1988, when a doctor influenced her by telling her that her uneven breasts were a congenital defect and that with a simple breast augmentation surgery this problem would be corrected. Julie believed the surgeon's words when she told her, "It's good for life and no one will notice." Her doctor failed to tell her about the negative consequences that could happen to her health.

 

After 30 years with breast implants, Julie's health dramatically declined. In 2019 she discovered breast implant illness and felt betrayed. Since then, she has joined her voice with other breast implant victims who have become supportive in order to publicize the significant gaps in falsified or unavailable information to the general public. Actions must be taken by medical authorities, laws must be changed by government authorities, health professionals must be educated and updated with new data on the subject, the population must be informed of their rights. Shouldn't their duties be to all walk in the same direction, to protect our health? 

Heidi Brown - GPAC Community Outreach Representative

Heidi has been an active member of the Bii community since 2018. She is an administrator in the Arizona Breast Implant Illness & Information facebook support group and she is passionate about awareness and education about breast implants and other medical devices. She works in the healthcare community and is committed to always putting patients first.

Heidi had breast implants for 19 years and her health continued to decline; she was planning her funeral when she found out about Breast Implant Illness. She had her implants removed and her health has improved dramatically and she has first hand knowledge and experience about the effects of implant illness. She advocates daily, wherever life brings her and we are thrilled to have her as a part of our GPAC team. 

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