I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. Of course, I had the mastectomies and chemo and I survived all that, only to find that I was left with a body that didn't even seem human anymore. I was glad to be cancer free, but facing the mutilation every single day was much harder to deal with. No matter how hard I tried to be positive and happy, I still had to look at myself every single day. The depression caused me to gain weight, and I began to withdraw from everyone. I went to work and then home. It's not life, it's just surviving. I had given up on ever having a normal life when a friend told me about My Hope Chest. Just hearing about them caused a tiny light to shine at the end of a long, dark tunnel. I signed up and as I worked with them to get all the paperwork in order, the light got a little brighter. On April 25th, 2012 (yes - I remember that date and always will) I got a call that I was to see a doctor about my reconstruction. The light got a whole lot brighter. I am currently in the process of reconstruction (what a miracle to see what is possible and what skills these doctors have!) and everything seems brighter. The doctor is wonderful and is so caring. Ever step is explained and he makes sure I understand and listens to my feedback. As far as working with the organization itself, their role in my life doesn't stop there. I get phone calls and emails at least once a week to check on my progress and see if there is anything they can do for me. Needless to say. my attitude about myself is changing. I don't hate myself anymore and I am now looking forward to every day instead of dreading it. It has renewed my faith in God that I have been fortunate enough to deal with this group of people and I thank Him that they exist!
After finding out my soul sister had breast cancer (estrogen based) and dealing with the emotions of chemo, hair loss, the future, etc. she was so very fortunate not to have to deal with a mastectomy and possible reconstructive surgeries! She was giving back to the community and found an organization called My Hope Chest and invited me to become involved. In my wildest dreams could I ever imagine that every women (and man) who has a mastectomy may not be able to afford resconstructive surgeries. It seems like the natural followup. But because of being uninsured or underinsured IT HAPPENS! Maybe when they have to deal with the word Cancer, the chemo process, the loss of breast they may decide to wait to be transformed...they will deal with it. But alas they do not feel whole and maybe by that time insurance changed or they no longer have insurance. That is where MY HOPE CHEST takes over...they raise the funds to help those in need....nationally! As you guessed, a waiting list. They need support of hospitals, doctors to perform surgeries, fund raisers, volunteers, sponsors... to restore, transform, complete. I am hooked in helping to volunteer where I can. Please pass this along to whoever you know...helps us help possibly YOU!
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in Feb 2012. my fate was to have a double mastectomy. This took place in March 2012. I also had to have all the lymph nodes under my right arm as the cancer had spread. I had Lobular instead of ductal cancer. It was decided that I could not start my reconstruction until I was done with all treatment. I had 8 doses of chemo and had to have one year of Herceptin. I finished treatment in September (the Herceptin was not complete until April 2013) and was ready to start reconstruction. I started the process and had my spacers put in. Shortly after I lost my job and had no funds to pay for the surgeries. By fate I saw an article in a newspaper regarding My Hope Chest. I figured it was worth a shot and gave them a call. They did everything in their power to help me! I had worked with other organizations that made promises and never came thru (this would be the Komen foundation). I am very grateful to My Hope Chest for all their help and support. As I have found, they are not about the money and prestige, they are actually about helping those in need ! I thank them from the bottom of my heart for what they did for me. They are wonderful!
My Hope Chest saved my life! After surviving 2 different breast cancers and losing both breasts, I hated my body. I gained weight and saw no reason to lose it. I did not feel attractive and my clothes no longer fit right. When I got the call that my name was at the top of the list for the next surgery I was over the moon. Everything was paid for! the plane to and from New Orleans. Limo rides between lodge to hospital, airport, etc. Every step of the way I was treated like a princess. My attitude has totally changed. I love my body.
Review from Guidestar
June 2011 I was diognosed with Breast Cancer at age 45 and was devistated with the thought I was going to loose both of my Breast. When I had my double mastectomy in Sept. of 2011 I just couldnt beleive this was happening to me. I was offered Surgery and reconstruction through a program of a free clinic here in my area. After they removed my Breast I was told that this is cosmestic surgery and they would not be doing my reconstruction and sent me on my way. I was devistated again. Not that I wasnt happy I was breast cancer free, but to think of how I looked to myself, it put me into a deep depsression. I wasnt happy with myself and became distant from my family and freinds. Depression took a toll on me with my work and home life and couldnt seem to get out of it. No matter what people say, its really how you feel yourself.
in 2012 I was introduced to My Hope Chest through a freind. I was so happy to hear there are real people out there that truely care about others.
I was emtremely happy that My Hope Chest came to my rescue. I have met a great surgeon and staff through my Hope Chest, that has been with me through all of the proceedures. I finished my final surgery for reconstruction this month and I am extremely grateful to My Hope Chest and the Surgeons that have helped me feel like a women again. I have my self esteem, and dignity back and without this orginization I dont think I could have gone on much longer.
I am excited to say that MY HOPE CHEST is truely an orginization that really cares and will guide you through it all.
North Port Fl
Review from Guidestar
My Hope Chest is a charity that touches more lives that just the women that are being helped. It touches their family and friends. It touches the men in their lives too...brothers, fathers, husbands, boyfriends, uncles and more. I am honored to be a part of helping this charity to complete it's mission.
Although I have not been personally affected by breat cancer, it has touched my family and friends. I undertand My Hope Chest is the only one of its kind in the nation funding reconstruction for breat cancer survivors. The staff is sincerely dedicated to helping others on a one-on-one basis. I hope to lend as much support to them as I can.
The people behind the efforts of the My Hope Chest Foundation are truly dedicated to helping women affected by breast cancer have their lives and self esteem restored by providing breast reconstructive surgery. It's been very tough for the organization since so much money and attention goes to finding the cure and not to helping those already affected but not able to help themselves. However, they have not quit and literally have put their own lives on hold to ensure that the foundation survives and women get help. I applaud this organization for all of their hard work and the success that they are beginning to see.
My Hope Chest is such an essential creation at this point in our economy. So many people have either become unemployed through no fault of their own. Many have lost their health insruance when they really need to use it. The thought of having cancer is a crushing reality, but to not be able to have a reconstruction is even more so. When you are down, you need somthing to help gain your confidence again to become the lady you once were. My Hope Chest gives peole this opportunity and more.
There are numerous "pink ribbon" charities focusing on breast cancer awareness. But My Hope Chest is the only national non profit focusing solely on breast reconstruction for the uninsured breast cancer survivor. They provide the final step in breast cancer treatment.
There are thousands of women without insurance living without one or both of their breasts. My Hope Chest goal is to see that no woman has to.