About Us

Our Founding Story

In 2019, a group of women without breasts took their shirts off to celebrate survivorship as they crossed the finish line of a breast cancer walk. This vulnerable moment in a space dedicated to those impacted by breast cancer — many of whom had lost hair, breasts, ovaries, fertility and mobility to cancer — was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from participants and news media.

The following year, this group applied to host a booth at the walk to share information on “aesthetic flat closure” — a recently defined surgical term by the National Cancer Institute which gave dignity and definition to the option of “no reconstruction”, which was often subjectively interpreted by surgeons. Shockingly, the breast cancer support organization rejected the idea of an AFC booth.

A call to action to action went out.

Within four weeks, 225 women with scars instead of breasts took to the streets of cancer walks across the globe. Some walked shirts on, many walked shirts off. Within two years, 1,500 people walked to support AFC as a healthy option. Tens of thousands more witnessed a groundbreaking activism when survivors modeled that it’s okay to have one or no breasts. We are still women. We are still whole.

This phenomenon of flat visibility as a catalyst for transformation repeats itself over and over again at breast cancer events. The presence and vulnerability of local teams touches participants in a way that is profound. In an instant: a breastless woman is transformed by representation, a child see someone who looks like mom, a husband asks where can he find tattoos for his wife who is home recovering from mastectomy

    This is is why we walk.

    Flat Visibility

    • shows women are whole with or without breasts — take a look at these powerful videos!
    • promotes body acceptance & dignity
    • counters stigmas of shame, and updates well-meaning but harmful judgement from physicians, friends and family
    • demonstrates AFC in real life, a contrast to the headless torso photos presented at surgical consultations
    • offers an alternative path to wholeness for those suffering from “reconstructive burnout”, illness, or pain

    Today, AFC and the going flat movement is normalized through community resourcesmedia representation, the global body positive movement and outreach to the medical community.


    Q: Why do women choose AFC post-mastectomy?

    A: AFC offers lowest rates of complications, no long term health risks, fastest recovery, no maintenance of a foreign object (implant), and makes wearing a breast prostheses more comfortable. Many women are not eligible for breast reconstruction or find it medically necessary to remove implants or failed tissue reconstruction.

    Q: Why a breast cancer awareness event?

    A: Breast cancer awareness events throughout the year (BCAM is October) brings hundreds of thousands of people together at public events. These ‘pink walks’ are opportunities to present AFC as a valid post-mastectomy option and destigmatize the loss of breasts.

    Q: Does everyone take their shirt off?

    A: No. Breastless and one-breasted team members are visible in whatever way that feels right for them: shirts on or shirts off. Those with native or reconstructed breasts should not remove their shirts and one-breasted women should cover their remaining breast.

    Q: Do I need to have aesthetic flat closure to be on an advocate for AFC?

    A: Not at all! Friends, family, medical providers, supporters and our pink sisters with any breast reconstruction or lumpectomy can be an ally!

    Q: Are there cancer events that is not during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM)?

    A: Yes. Even though most BCAM events occur during October, you can find events throughout the year Events near you.

    Q:  How will Stand Tall AFC support teams?

    A:   STAFC does not manage teams or hosts events. We are a resource hub with links to regional flat groups and cancer events. We empower local leaders via monthly newsletters and Zoom meetings and share lived experience as walks.

    Q: Can I buy Stand Tall t-shirts and posters?

    A: Soon! Stay tuned for our merchandise shop.

    Q: How can I find a BCAM event near me?

    A:  Check the Breast Cancer Events page or google “breast cancer events near me”.


    We bring aesthetic flat closure (AFC) to cancer awareness events and transform perceptions about goingflat after mastectomy through visibility, education and conversation.


    • VISIBILITY — seeing women without breast(s) at cancer events destigmatizes the effects of mastectomy.

    • DIGNITY — being whole is not dependent on breasts, hair or any body part lost to cancer or its prevention.

    • EMPOWERMENT — inclusion at cancer events is healing for those with AFC as well as others impacted by breast cancer.

    • INFORMED CHOICE — patients should be presented post-mastectomy options with parity which includes using aesthetic flat closure (AFC) to replace “no reconstruction”.

    • INCLUSION — STAFC teams support patient rights to all post-mastectomy options including AFC, implants and tissue reconstruction.