Cancer de Mama Clinic 2014: a Win/Win Situation

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The La Penita Cancer de Mama Clinic provides a vital service to those struggling to cope with breast cancer. Over 427 Mexican women attended the recent clinic, traveling from across the state of Nayarit. What is shocking is that Nayarit has the distinction of having the highest incidence of female cancers in all Mexico. Just in the northern Nayarit municipality of San Pedro Lagunillas, which is a poor, mountainous agricultural area, the occurrence of female cancer is epidemic. There is a lack of after-surgery care provided by the Mexican government for the lower socioeconomic individuals without health insurance, which is approximately 60% of the Nayarit population. Being a poor woman complicates the physical aspects due to the lack of available options or assistance. Therefore, the service provided by the La Penita Cancer de Mama organization is a wonderful gift to these brave women as they rebuild their lives.

But it is more than the medical care that prompts the women to make the journey to La Penita. The clinic provides more than a free prosthesis and a hot meal- the clinic welcomes each and every woman with instant friendship and compassion in the smiles and hugs from all of the more than 200 volunteers!

Thank You for So Many Contributions: 

This grassroots effort is solely funded by donations and without any paid staff.  The astonishing transformation of a park clubhouse into an attractive, organized clinic for three days a year requires the cooperation and year-round efforts of many people.  Even more amazing is that the majority of the clinic volunteers do not live in Mexico, but visit seasonally.  The medical prosthesis are hauled from Canada and the US by RVs, as are the other supplies used at the clinic.  Many local merchants donate food items that become the meal for the clients and volunteers.  Others volunteers give their time to sort and organize the give-away materials, besides manning the actual clinic. Accolades go to the Cancer de Mama Clinic Executive Committee members and all the department chairs: what impressive talent and devotion besides tremendous heart. Thank you all for what you do!

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As Susan Sloan, Cancer de Mama Clinic Supervisor said, “THANK YOU to all of the volunteers who worked so long and so hard to help make this year’s clinic such a wonderful event.  I know the countless hours dedicated to this project were well rewarded this weekend.   Thank You for your countless hours, your tears, your compassion, your laughter, sore muscles and tired feet!  We did a great job and should be proud of ourselves.”

All of the volunteers I spoke with said the same thing: “It gives me such satisfaction to help out. I’ll be back next year.” Many international people worry that not knowing Spanish might be a handicap to volunteering; but as one of the volunteer translators explained for a Spanish speaking client, “I can read compassion and love in your eyes- there is no need for words.”  It is the sincerity and passion of all the volunteers that make the La Penita Cancer de Mama Clinic the phenomenal experience for everyone.

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Content © Tara A. Spears.

Cancer de Mama Clinic 2014 Annual Report

Mexican, Canadian, and American women working together – oh what we accomplished! Our 2014 La Penita Cancer de Mama Clinic fitted 425 breast cancer survivors of all ages from all over the state of Nayarit with custom made bras and prostheses. Many visited the wig and hat/scarf shop and the “look good-feel good” tent. We sewed bras, served everyone lunch, had fun with laughing yoga, played bingo, and told stories through our scrapbooking. Smiles and hugs all around.

Our thanks to those north of the border who donated bras, prostheses and wigs and to the snowbirds who transported these in RV’s and even by plane. Thanks also to those from all three countries who donated funds and food for the clinic and to the more than 250 volunteers who came to help out. We learned a lot from each other.

We want to extend special congratulations to the second annual Guadalajara Clinic that served about 300 women at its March event. We provided start-up funds for this clinic last year and gave further funds again this year. The clinic is sponsored by the Instituto Anahuacalli, a private school and foundation in Guadalajara.  The school has been actively fund-raising and has let us know that their clinic is unlikely to need funds from us in the future. What good news and what a success. Our combined efforts are reaching so many women!

The future for Cancer de Mama holds both challenges and opportunities. First – how can we reach even more women? Second, can we overcome the transport and import problems that have developed as more goods are needed and border requirements tighten? We think the answer to both questions is YES. We are now exploring sources for made in Mexico products, especially bras. And we are using the expertise of Mexican women to create “been-a-boobs”. These are light weight prostheses that have found acceptance among many breast cancer survivors. Made of synthetic beads and fibrfeill contained in a soft fabric pocket, they are cooler and less prone to damage in the hot Mexican climate. They can be made locally.

We believe there is opportunity for a future of multiple clinics run by Mexican women and for home grown product. You can help us move in this direction. We still need bras, prostheses and wigs; check our website for suggestions. Increasingly, however, we will need financial donations. Our coffers are healthy right now and we finished the year with over 230,000 pesos or roughly $20,000. This will keep us going for a year or so, but as we change in response to the opportunity to reach more women, so will our needs. The website also gives information on how to make financial donations.

Thanks to all for your support and help: past, present, and future.
Carole Thacker, Chair

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Cancer De Mama Clinic 2013 | Wear Ease

pinkTHANK YOU……..

2013 CANCER DE MAMA CLINIC

THANK YOU to all of the volunteers who worked so long and so hard to help make this year’s clinic such a wonderful event.    I know the countless hours dedicated to this project were well rewarded this weekend.    We helped make 567 ladies feel proud, we offered them care, compassion and understanding.  It does not matter what language we speak, what color our skin or how much we have we are all women; this could happen to anyone of us.

To the men who added many volunteer hours to this clinic Thank You for understanding the value that we have placed on our ability to help those not as fortunate as ourselves.   Knowing that our husbands,      brothers, fathers and sons support us in our clinic work is very important, not all of these ladies have that support system.

So Ladies and Gentlemen Thank You for your countless hours, your tears, your compassion, your laughter, sore muscles, tired feet we did a great job and should be proud of ourselves.

Susan Sloan

Cancer de Mama Clinic Supervisor

CANCER DE MAMA REPORT ….from Holly Trujillo

The images are still fresh in our minds, and the emotion has not faded away; we want to share once again about this incredible labor of love, which took place over three days this past weekend, where dignity and wholeness was returned to 556 women.   

The Cancer de Mama Clinic (Breast Cancer Clinic) takes place annually at the La Penita RV Park, La Penita, Nayarit, Mexico.  The Clinic is a work of love, started by a Canadian breast cancer survivor in 1996.  In the early years, Jackie provided prostheses and bras out of her home, only being able to serve a limited amount of women.  The Clinic’s location was changed to the RV Park in 2009, where with additional space and over 250 volunteers, it has mushroomed in size.  From displaying prostheses and bras on her bed, to a clubhouse transformed into dressing rooms and storage areas for bras and prostheses, the Clinic was able to serve one hundred more women than last year.  This year, I had the pleasure and honor of meeting Jackie, the woman behind this healing force for survivors of breast cancer.  

In addition to prosthetic bras and prostheses, the women can also receive wigs, scarves, hats, plus shop at the free store for clothes and accesories.  Prostheses are not only very expensive, but largely unavailable for the average Mexican woman.  The tears of joy at seeing themselves once again whole, are images not easily erased from our minds.  

I have worked as a translator in the Clubhouse ( where the dressing rooms are located) these past four years; Jeff works in the poolside kitchen, helping to serve the daily lunch.  He now has the distinction of being an expert tortilla roller.  I also translate thank you cards, which the women have written, expressing their gratitude for the Clinic, the Volunteers, los regalos (the gifts) and most of all to God.  I would say almost 80% of the cards, express a gratitude to God.  We admire so very much the strength, determination and gratitude demonstrated by these women who have endured so very much. A local doctor once told me, “the women of Mexico are three time losers with breast cancer; they lose their breasts, their hair and many times their husbands.” Unlike developed countries, breast cancer still holds a stigma here in Mexico.  We received hugs, kisses and “que dios te bendiga” (may God bless you), from so many women.  

In closing, we would like to share a few women’s words of gratitude to the Clinic:  

“Hello.  I want to thank you from all of my heart, that there is a great and powerful God, who moves all hearts.  I give thanks to God and you for supporting us, those who have this type of disease.  You are a strength and aid to us, so we can move ahead.  Like everyone, a thousand thanks”.  

“Thank you for making possible our dream of feeling complete once again.  I don’t have have words to pay you for all you have done for the women, who are passing through this terrible disease.  But thank you and your good hearts.  May God take care of and protect you always.”  

“Thank you my father, for sending us angels to this earth to aid us.  Watch over them my father, wherever they go” 

As these women, may your hearts be filled with gratitude today. 

Holly Trujillo

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STATE PROVINCIAL AND COUNTRY PINS – Brian Vickers

Email: briangi@hotmail.com

 During the Cancer de Mama days, I give out a lot of Canadian and B.C. pins to the Mexican ladies. These are allotted (  20 at a time),free of charge from both of my Provincial and Federal  ministers offices. As you know, we had 567 ladies this year, and I cannot get that many. I am appealing to both the Canadian and American residents to bring  State, Provincial and Country pins for next year. This way, all the ladies will get one.

Many thanks,      Brian.  site 21

cameraFROM OUR OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER…..CLAUDIA

All the pictures Claudia took during the Cancer de Mama Clinic are available on a disc at the office to be copied. Please return a.s.a.p. Note: use them only for personal use, I only asked permission to the Mexican ladies to take their picture, not always permission to publish them.

CANCER DE MAMA IN PICTURES

4WAITING AT THE PEMEX STATION FOR TRANSPORT TO THE RV PARK AND THE CANCER DE MAMA CLINIC

11AN ESCORT FOR THE LADIES!

34A HEARTWARMING TRIBUTE TO JACKIE JACKSON35FOUNDER OF THE CANCER DE MAMA CLINIC.

21THE WIG SHACK

22 THE FINAL TRANSFORMATION….

18THE FITTING AREA

32THIS SAYS IT ALL!

15HAPPY SMILES.

10LUNCH!!

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August Newsletter

In this Issue

New Compression Products

 

2014 Cancer de Mama Clinic Update

 

2014 NLN Conference

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“A woman may have cancer of the breast but she needs care for her whole body and being.”

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AUGUST 2014
It is August and the stores are touting their back to school sales. I have not been to the beach or the pool yet, how can we be talking about “back to school” already!
Since our last newsletter we have:

  • Attended and exhibited at Lymphedema Seminar in Durham, NC in June.
  • Refined our new product introductions of the Compression Vest: one for women, style 796/797 and another for men, style 798/799 and our Compression T, style 915.
  • Do to popular demand, we have a new release of our Alicia Camisole, style 940 for a mid-summer wardrobe enhancement.
  • If you would like information on any of these garments please call us or email mari@wearease.com

Call us today to get your business listed on our website – free. Even if you don’t carry all of our products, this is a great way to “touch” new prospects and gain new customers!
P.S. Watch for our “Back To School” special. Coming soon!

NEW! COMPRESSION T, STYLE 915

Our new Compression T is extremely popular with therapists, fitters and patients. Specifically designed to provide compression for the entire torso and additional coverage for the upper chest and underarm area. Great for active wear and travel. More Info

Call and place your order today! 866-251-0076

NEW! MEN’S COMPRESION VEST, STYLE 798, 799

 

The compression vest is ideal for chest procedures. It features a front zipper with hook and eye and spacer placket underneath to protect the skin from the zipper. Wide, adjustable and detachable shoulder straps with hook and eyes. A 1 ½” wide band at the bottom of the vest. It is made of a double layer of breathable and moisture management powernet fabric.  Nylon/spandex and latex free. A great vest for surgical procedures. It fits right above the navel which eliminates having to fit the abdomen.More Info

 

Style 798: Men’s Compression Vest

Style 799: Men’s Compression Vest with 2 Removable Drainage Tube Pouches

ALICIA CAMISOLE, STYLE 940

 

Offer your customers a mid-summer wardrobe enhancement! Place your order today. More info

CANCER DE MAMA UPDATE

Donate to the 2015 Cancer de Mama Clinic

If you would like to help out for the 2015 clinic you can contact the clinic directly by using their contact form on their website: HERE

 

Or you can contact us to coordinate donation shipments

1-866-251-0076

info@wearease.com

 

Wish List for Donations

  • GENTLY USED BRAS (Please make sure bras are clean, and have NO FOAM CUPS, NO DEMI CUPS)
  • GENTLY USED PROSTHETIC BRAS
  • GENTLY USED PROSTHETIC FORMS
  • KNITTED OR CROCHETED TIT BITS (especially large size)
  • SLEEP CAPS THAT STRETCH TO 11″

The deadline to receive donations is November 1, 2014.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Phyllis Keith
Wear Ease, Inc.
info@wearease.com
T: 866-251-0076
F: 208-455-0957

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