A South Jersey group of knitters is teaming up with Cooper University Health Care to help women diagnosed with breast cancer. As affiliates of Knitted Knockers, a nationwide non-profit, the volunteers are creating hand-knitted prosthetic breasts for women who have undergone mastectomies or other breast procedures.
In the past year, the group has provided more than 50 sets, which come in a variety of sizes and colors, to patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.
“We understand that dealing with breast cancer can be difficult emotionally as well as physically,” said Kristin L. Brill, MD, FACS, program director for The Janet Knowles Breast Cancer Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. “We are dedicated to providing a full range of services to help patients through this experience. We are grateful to the local volunteers for making the Knitted Knockers that we are able to offer as alternatives to our patients.”
“Our local Knitted Knockers volunteers help breast cancer survivors feel better during a difficult time in their lives,” said Susan Bass Levin, president and CEO of The Cooper Foundation, which coordinated the donations. “The group’s name alone brings a smile to people’s faces.”
The Knitted Knockers organization was founded in 2011 in Washington State by a breast cancer survivor and has now grown to include volunteer groups in all 50 states. The group’s goal was to produce an inexpensive, yet viable substitute for traditional prosthetics or to be used while awaiting reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy. The Knitted Knockers are soft, comfortable, can be worn inside a traditional bra, and are free upon request.
Locally, the South Jersey Knitted Knockers, a group of compassionate volunteer knitters and crocheters, are making these knockers for breast cancer survivors in the community. Currently, 25 women are involved with the group which is generously supported by the Saltzman Foundation Life Long Learning Institute at the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill.
“Our group is grateful to Dr. Brill, Susan Bass Levin, and their associates at Cooper for helping us deliver these free prostheses, handmade with tender loving care, to breast cancer survivors in our community” said Knitted Knockers co-chair Denise Weinberg.
The knockers are offered to breast cancer patients at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. Patients at other hospitals can also obtain a free set of knockers by contacting the group directly.
Additional knitters and crocheters are welcome at any time. Knitters and crocheters must be able to follow an easy pattern, and must use only approved yarns which will be supplied by the Saltzman Foundation. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Cooper University Health Care
Cooper University Health Care is the leading academic health care system in South Jersey. This includes South Jersey’s only Level I trauma center at Cooper University Hospital, a leading cancer center – MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, the only Level II pediatric trauma center in the Delaware Valley – Children’s Regional Hospital, one of the largest physicians group in the region, four urgent care centers, and more than 100 outpatient offices throughout South Jersey and Pennsylvania. Cooper has been carrying out its mission “to serve, to heal, to educate” since 1887.
Wendy A. Marano
Public Relations Manager