If you don't know about Barbara and Knitted Knockers Support Foundation (a 501(c)3) nonprofit run entirely by volunteers), we'd like to tell you about her/them.
In 2011 Barbara was diagnosed with breast cancer. While struggling with the shock of the news, she was initially self conscious and embarrassed that she needed to have a mastectomy… so she avoided telling many of her friends. Those that she did tell, she was quick to add that she was going to be immediately reconstructed. Well, it didn’t turn out that way. Due to complications she had to go to plan B which involved an implant and tissue expansion. She was at a loss as to what to wear to appear “normal,” so that she could get back to work. She called the local cancer society and asked about acquiring a prosthesis. The woman replied, “Oh honey, you can’t put anything on that scar for at least six weeks”. SIX WEEKS!!!!! What was she going to do for six weeks? She had work to get back to, life to live. That was the first time she cried.
Through a series of very random and interesting events, Barb found out about the possibility of a knitted prosthesis. Her first set of ’knitted knockers’ was knit and delivered to her by her friend, Phyllis—in a Victoria Secret bag :-). She took them right into the bathroom stall and stuck one in her bra. “It was FABULOUS,” said Barb! “It was light, pretty, soft and fit in my own bra perfectly. I took off my jacket and knew right then that I wanted to make these available to other women going through the same situation. I thought, “what if my doctor had real knitted knockers to give to women rather than only having a photocopied picture on a sheet of paper to show them?”
Since then she has organized a group of volunteers to supply their local doctors with Knitted Knockers. In 2014, she was recognized by the Susan G. Koman Foundation and US Bowling Congress and received national attention for knittedknockers.org. Her vision has grown to connect volunteer knitters and crocheters with breast cancer survivors everywhere… so that everyone has a “Phyllis” in their life.
Knitted Knockers Support Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit run entirely by volunteers. No one is getting paid. While they do what they do because they care, the simple fact is it takes money to send out the thousands of knitted knockers being provided throughout the United States and the world. Their postage alone costs $55,000 a year not counting the packaging, stuffing, print materials, etc. They are currently providing over 1,000 per month and supporting 1,200 medical clinics. They estimate the cost of providing one knocker to be about $5. A donation of $20 provides a pair of knockers to two women. They couldn't do what they do without the thousands of wonderful volunteer knitters giving freely of their time and talents to make the knockers. Just as importantly the gracious donation of funds enables them to bring these gifts of comfort to thousands of grateful recipients.