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How to Help Breast Cancer Survivors with Your Knitting

help breast cancer survivorsFind out how you can improve the lives of breast cancer survivors through the innovative Knitted Knockers Charities

Chesley Flotten was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer during the pregnancy of her first child. She underwent a mastectomy and, like many women,  discovered the problems with prosthetic breasts.

Problem one: silicone breast prosthetics are heavy and uncomfortable. They cause sweating and can lead to heat rash.

Problem two: silicone breast prosthetics are expensive. Just one costs between $300 and $500, well out of reach for many women without insurance. Two are nearly impossible! In addition, few want to spend that kind of money on a device they might find uncomfortable or ill-fitting.

As a knitter, Chesley turned to the craft to devise a solution. And a solution she found: her very own knitted breast prosthesis. It turned all the problems with silicone breast prosthetics on their collective heads. They were lightweight, comfortable, inexpensive, and just the right size. Plus, she could knit them in any color she wished!

During a checkup, Chesley showed her creation to her doctor and nurse. They loved the idea and asked if she could make more for other breast cancer patients.

The rest, as they say, is history!

Knitted Knockers Charities Today

breast cancer survivors
Photo: Knitted Knockers Charities

Chesley began knitting knockers in 2007 from her shop, The Knitting Experience Cafe. In 2010 the shop closed, but the knitting knockers experience continued thanks to Arizona’s Tempe Yarns. They intended the project as a short-term community program, but it took on a life of its own.

Today, Knitted Knockers Charities is a nationwide 501(c) nonprofit dedicated to carrying on the mission of providing knitted prosthetic breasts to every breast cancer survivor in need.

Not only can you find Knitted Knockers Charities groups all around the United States, but you can also find them in Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, South Africa, and the UK. That’s right, it’s gone worldwide!

Eager to knit for charity but unsure where to start?
Click here to sign up for my free email course, Getting Started with Charity Knitting, and subscribe to the free Knitting Nuggets Newsletter.

How You Can Help

You can knit knockers for breast cancer survivors, too! You can find knitted knocker patterns here. You’ll also find out where you can send the knockers.

Knitted Knockers Charities is still based in Arizona; if you live in another state, check this page to find a group near you. Live outside the US? Check this page to see where you can send your knockers.

As a nonprofit organization, Knitted Knockers Charities gratefully accepts donations. If you or a non-knitting friend/relative would like to support their mission financially, follow the directions here.

Knitted Knockers Charities takes a serious issue and brightens and lightens the emotional and physical problems associated with it. If you or someone you love has survived breast cancer, you know these problems well. If you’re ready to celebrate life with other survivors, I hope you’ll consider knitting knockers yourself!

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