Research Medical Center
July 16, 2018

Two Kansas City nonprofits have collaborated to create an appearance center that will bolster the self-esteem and well-being of cancer patients. The center is dedicated in the memory of Verda Salberg, a vibrant woman who had a passion for living and advocated for the disease that took her life. The Research Foundation, which endeavors to encourage the community to lead healthier lives through health education and scholarship programs, and Bra Couture KC, which provides funding for Kansas City-area organizations that offer life-empowering services to uninsured and underinsured individuals touched by cancer, will host a public ribbon cutting and grand opening for Verda’s Place. 

Located in Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Research Medical Center, Kansas City’s newest appearance center is in honor and memory of Verda Salberg, known as a brave, dynamic and eloquent soldier who lost her battle with breast cancer in September 2017. 

“Verda’s Place is the embodiment of what Bra Couture KC represents to people in the community who have been impacted by cancer,” says Sharon Butler Payne, founder of Bra Couture KC. “Verda Salberg was a tireless champion for people on their cancer journey and for survivors, too—someone you’d want in your corner as a compassionate cheerleader, consoler, confidante and bold advocate. Her involvement in Bra Couture KC as a first year runway survivor model and on the runway just months before she passed at BCKC’s Annual Event to increase awareness of how cancer can recur,  plus the countless hours she spent promoting and volunteering will be forever remembered through Verda’s Place. It was a privilege to know Verda and be warmed by her bright smile and optimism.  Using funds donated to Bra Couture KC by Verda’s friends, family and the VerdaMae Foundation, I’m pleased that Bra Couture KC could partner with The Research Foundation to perpetuate her abundant spirit.”

Cynthia Randazzo, president and chief executive officer of The Research Foundation, observes that “Verda’s Place represents a remarkable opportunity for cancer patients, including the most vulnerable who are uninsured or underinsured, to access support products like wigs, prosthetics and accessories. Working with Bra Couture KC to bring Verda’s Place to life aligns with our mission of enhancing the community’s health and well-being.

“Verda brimmed with life and love and was always concerned about and motivated to help others dealing with cancer,” says John Salberg, Verda’s husband of 22 years. “She demonstrated throughout her cancer journey—with involvement in Bra Couture KC and other cancer support organizations— and subsequent death the true spiritual foundation of hope, healing and living. Seeing the generosity, creativity and power of two organizations merging their resources and energy to create a legacy for Verda that will lighten the burden of cancer patients in the community is indeed humbling and inspiring. Verda’s Place exudes my wife’s beauty, strength and determination and I, along with our daughters Abigail and Lydia, am blessed to be part of this center that will serve others.”

“Verda was an amazing individual who, like so many cancer patients, refused to let her diagnosis define her,” says Stephanie Graff, M.D., board-certified/fellowship trained, Internal Medicine-Hematology-Oncology, director of the Breast Program at the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health and associate director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at Sarah Cannon Research Institute. “As a breast cancer physician, I learned long ago that caring for the whole person—their physical health in tandem with their spiritual and emotional well-being—and not just the cancer plays an integral role. Verda’s Place will be a priceless benefit for cancer patients as they seek to manage some of the cosmetic side effects of cancer treatment.”

For more information on Bra Couture KC, visit For more information on The Research Foundation, visit For more information about Verda’s Place and Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Research Medical Center’s comprehensive, world-class cancer services, visit

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