A kindhearted mum is dedicating her spare time to knitting homemade natural breasts for women who have undergone mastectomies.
Kay Coombes, 46, was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and later had both breasts removed when she feared the disease could return. The brave lady has now teamed up with ‘Knitted Knocker UK’ to help provide cancer sufferers across the UK with lightweight breasts made from natural wool.
Kay, from Bridgwater, Somerset, said: “After my double mastectomy I had a lot of time on my hands because I was off work for a while. I belong to a few support groups online for breast cancer and one linked to an American website about knitted knockers. I thought that sounded interesting so I ordered a pair of these knitted knockers.”
“Even though it was an American website, a few ladies in England belong to it and it was the ladies in England who sent me a pair of knockers. I thought they were great, they were absolutely fantastic. They are comfortable to wear against your skin and scars and everything.”
Kay was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and underwent a lumpectomy and chemotherapy to remove it. However, she tested positive for the BRCA gene last year which drastically increased the chances of the cancer returning.
To mitigate the chances she underwent a double mastectomy, as well as having her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. After being sent her own ‘knitted knockers’, she decided to help women up and down the country who have also suffered. The civil servant joined a craft group and learnt to knit them herself before joining Knitted Knockers UK, a group which was set up in January.
She said: “The lady who started the UK group was the one who knitted me my knockers. Because of me she started the group up in the UK which I think is a lovely thing to have done. I had to get involved – I learnt how to knit and crochet them and I’m now quite involved.”
“Hospitals in the UK provide us with prosthetic ones, which are okay, but they are quite heavy. I’ve got the hospital silicon ones – and just one weighs 450 grams, and that is just a C cup. But one of my knitted ones weighs less than 50 grams. You compare 450 grams and 50 grams in your bra and what would you prefer?”
“It is nice to have a choice, especially for comfort reasons. In hot weather, the knitted cotton ones – we make them out of 100 per cent pure cotton – are a lot more comfortable because they don’t make you sweat like with the silicon ones.”
Taking a few hours to make each pair, they can be made in sizes AA to HH, with ladies requesting either one or a pair of knockers depending on what operation they have had.
There are around 600 people who support the group, with 50 women regularly knitting. They buy the cotton themselves, knit, stuff, package and post – all for free. Kay said: “It is a lovely gift from one woman to another, especially from my point of view because I’ve been in the same situation which makes it more personal.”
Kay, who lost her brother on board Cheeki Rafiki boat disaster in May, says the group has massively helped her through a difficult time. She added: “Not only did I enjoy making the knockers for women but the other members of the group helped me during that really tough time, and that was a real help mentally as well as physically.”
Women can request a pair of knitted knockers from http://www.knittedknockersuk.com
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