The O'Brien sisters - Anne, Megan, Bridget, Katie, and Sara - know the pain of loss all too well. In 1990, the girls lost their mother, Tyanna Barre O'Brien, to breast cancer. She was just 48. They were still teenagers.

Today, they honor their mother’s legacy with the Tyanna Foundation, which raises funds through the annual BreastFest event and other efforts. At Virtua, the O’Brien sisters have created a legacy with the Tyanna Barre O’Brien Breast Care Comfort Fund.

“Our goal is patient care and Virtua Foundation has taken the time to create programs that we can really get behind,” said Sara O’Brien. “They make sure the funds we raise are allotted to the programs we believe in.”

The Tyanna Barre O’Brien Breast Care Comfort Fund is about education, early detection, comfort and compassion. It supports life-saving genetic counseling for people who are at a higher risk. It buys wigs, scarves and medical sleeves for patients who can’t afford these comfort items. If someone needs help getting to an appointment, the Breast Care Comfort Fund is there to help. Gifts to this fund have also supported the purchase of MarginProbe™, technology that tests breast tissue right in the operating room to determine if all cancer cells have been removed.

Since 2009, The Tyanna Foundation has made gifts totaling more than $200,000 to support breast cancer patients at Virtua. In 2012, the Tyanna Foundation made a leadership gift to Virtua Foundation to create and sustain the Breast Care Comfort Fund which supports patients battling cancer. In recognition of their gift, we dedicated the Virtua Voorhees Women’s Health Unit in memory of Tyanna Barre O’Brien on April 11, 2013.

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