EDMONTON — Funded by donations, an Alberta not-for-profit group is knitting breast prostheses free for women who’ve undergone mastectomies or other breast surgeries.
The group’s name is Kitted Knockers Alberta. Volunteers buy the yarn and knit the prostheses. The group pads them and mails them out, using donated funds.
Recipients say the name’s “giggle factor” is all part of the fun.
“In this journey, we all need a chuckle,” said Brenda Morris, who’s battled breast cancer twice and uses a knitted prosthesis.
She said the products are light-weight, cool, soft and comfortable.
“You can customize it. You can put a little more filling in… or you can take a little out. It fits right in a normal bra.”
But for Morris, there’s an even better attribute.
“I think probably the best thing about it is the human connection.
“There’s someone out there who’s been touched by breast cancer who buys the yarn, who knits the product and donates it. As the recipient of one, when I wear a Knitted Knocker, I feel that human connection and I so appreciate it and I value it.”
Pat Shaul started knitting for the group after her own battle.
“My main reason was that I’m a breast cancer survivor. That was the catalyst and then I asked my three sisters if they wanted to do this workshop.”
So far, Shaul has knit 10 prostheses. It takes her under two hours to make one.
“It makes me feel good. I think that anything we can do to make a difference is good.”
Plus, they’re free. Anyone who’s undergone a mastectomy or other breast surgery can go online and order one or two as needed.
“I was ecstatic about it. I think it’s absolutely great,” Shaul said. “There are many many people worldwide who don’t have access to a lot of the things we have here.”
The group would like to recruit more volunteer knitters.
“They’re easy if you’re comfortable knitting with four needles,” said Shaul, who rates the pattern a four or five on a difficulty scale of 10.
Knitted Knockers Alberta has provided 500 prosetheses so far, but only about 40 in the Edmonton area. The group is hoping to make more women aware of the resource.
“It’s a difficult process to go through,” Shaul said. “No matter what the level of your cancer, it’s not an easy process. Whatever you can do to make it easier is very worthwhile.”
For more information on ordering a Knitted Knocker or supporting the cause, click here.