Knitted Prosthesis For Breast Cancer Survivors

Solidarity Helping Hand supporters have been busy knitting breast prostheses since May this year to help women who have lost their breasts due to cancer and cannot afford reconstruction surgery.

October is national breast cancer awareness month.

Solidarity Helping Hand said it thought it fitting to distribute 1 421 single breast prostheses to the countrywide offices of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA). 

Benette Welman, project organiser for Solidarity Helping Hand, said they decided to collaborate with CANSA in May this year to establish the #BosomFriends project.

“We have various knitting projects that supporters can become a part of,” says Welman. 

“It is a way in which supporters can use their talents to bring about meaningful change in the lives of their fellow community members.

“Our elderly in particular find dignity in knowing that they can still make a difference by doing something in their own time that they love.”

Welman this week said women who helped to knit the breast prostheses also prayed for the recipients. 

It is difficult to see someone walk the arduous walk with breast cancer.

Apart from the emotional and physical challenges, it is an extremely traumatic experience for women to lose both their hair and breasts. 

Welman said she hopes the #BosomFriends project can alleviate some of the stress on this journey.

On Tuesday, a team of representatives from Solidarity Helping Hand handed over about 400 prostheses at CANSA’s head office in Pretoria.

Gerda Strauss, head of services at CANSA, said during the event that it was a wonderful privilege that Solidarity Helping Hand was able to tackle this project.

She thanked the knitting volunteers and described them as true “bosom friends”.

Strauss said that they sincerely appreciate every breast prosthesis that they can donate to a cancer patient. 

It not only restores the dignity of these women, but each prosthesis represents the face of a patient on her road to recovery and was made by someone who used her talent to make a huge difference in another woman’s life.

The public and people who can knit and crochet can already start knitting or buying knitting kits for next year. 

The cost of the complete knitting kit required to make a set of prostheses is R60. 

A kit consists of synthetic wool, cotton to fill the breast, as well as a pattern to knit or crochet the prosthesis. 

These kits are then distributed to any member of the public who wants to volunteer to assist with knitting breast prostheses.

People who would prefer to make a financial contribution to the project, can visit helpendehand.co.za/donasie to make a donation. “BREIKANSA” can be used as a reference.

For more information on the project or to become part of the group of volunteers who knit or crochet for the project, an email can be sent to frouevonds@helpendehand.co.za.