Help for Breast Cancer patients.

It’s no secret that I had a hard time adjusting to life here in the DC area. I cried in my Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf over leaving Los Angeles for a long, long time. Except it wasn’t CB&TL because they DON’T HAVE IT HERE!  Slowly I met people and slowly life got better.

{the lovely Sue from Laundry for Six and the amazing Susan and her kick ass sleeves from Toddler Planet.}

One of the people who has made my life infinitely better is Susan from TODDLER PLANET. I always joke that Susan is made of Alpha Waves and awesome. Being around her is like being at a spa. Just her voice and manner relax me, she’s witty, fun, has adorable boys and oh yeah, has cancer.  Cancer is not what I think about when I think about Susan. I think about her grace…I mean Grace Kelly grace, Elizabeth Edwards grace. Real old fashioned hard to come by GRACE. I also think about science, because Susan is a brilliant scientist. In fact if I had a science teacher as cool as Susan I very well might have gone to class! Or even someone as cool as her IN my class, then I might have gone. Although maybe there was someone as cool as Susan but I just don’t know it cause I got to mitosis and was all whaaa? and then never went back.

{I don’t endorse this plan of action by the way.}

But that’s not really what this is about. {although science is important, kids!} It’s about Susan and her amazing-ness. In the midst of healing from a 3rd, yeah you heard that right, 3rd reoccurance of breast cancer and the news that possibly there might be something shady happening in or on around her lungs she isn’ thinking of herself. Not Susan… I’ll let her explain how it happened.

From Susan:

Last month, I was lying on the table having my arm worked on as my lymphedema therapist tried to reduce the swelling in my arm.  I try to zone out a little, as it’s not all that comfortable, but we got to talking about my pretty lymphedema sleeves, which you guys have seen me wear around town and at BlogHer.

Apparently, I’ve been living with my head under a rock, as I was surprised to hear her say, “so many of my patients can’t afford lymphedema sleeves, and their arms are so much harder.  The tissue actually changes, and their arms are stiff or puffy no matter what I do.”

(I asked everywhere and searched in vain for a program for medicare patients (they’re not covered by medicare or most insurance plans) or others with financial need.  There weren’t any.  The only one I found is open only to NLN members seeing an NLN therapist – a small percentage, and they have a $25 application fee!))

A few days later, Sue (Laundry for Six) sent me an email from a foundation offering wigs, prostheses, bras, and relaxing massage to cancer patients/survivors, asking if I needed anything.  Well, I did.  I needed to help these other patients that my therapist sees.  So I made a few phone calls.

As it turns out, both the foundation (Crickett’s Aswser for Cancer) and my favorite lymphedema sleeve maker (Lymphedivas) were founded in honor of thirty-something women (one a blogger!) who had breast cancer (and then died).  I made an earnest plea to each of them, told them about the women that each other were honoring, and then held my breath and made the ask.

Would you, could you, please consider working with each other to provide lymphedema sleeves to women in need?

They agreed to talk to each other.  They liked each other, and a few weeks later, box upon box of lymphedema sleeves and gauntlets (like a glove without fingers – you can see mine in Monday’s post) arrived at the foundation.  Sue’s friend Carole, the foundation’s VP, unpacked them, totaled it up, and found that she had received over $12,000 worth of lymphedema sleeves and gloves to give away.

Of course, that’s still only a drop in the bucket.  But what a drop!

And that my friends is Susan in a nutshell. Always, thinking of others and taking action. Please read Susan’s post on it, and if you or anyone you know needs help, don’t hesitate! You can contact Crickett’s Answer for Cancer here. And if you can donate even a buck or five…please do. This is a small thing that is a HUGE thing.

To quote Susan: I wore the recommended sleeve and glove everywhere, but I was often greeted with looks of dismay as friends and former associates asked me, “What on Earth happened to your arm?”….From the very first night I wore it (the Lymphediva sleeve) out with the girls, I’ve been greeted not with “Oh, no, what happened to you?” but with “Oooh, that’s so pretty!  I love it!” and smiles.

And that my friends, can make all the difference in the world. Please, if you’ve got a minute share Susan’s post on Facebook or Twitter. Thank you so much!

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