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!
I have been the Board President for the past 15 months and before that I served 3 years on the Advisory Board. This charity means so much to me because of all the wonderful women we help around the country and right here in Tampa Bay. We are partnered with several different companies and we are always looking to add to our list.
Over the past few years we have held several great events to raise funds to help those women to get their reconstructive surgeries. I love being involved and look forward to helping hundreds of women in the coming years!
Review from Guidestar
"Losing a breast changes your life...getting it back is LIFE CHANGING!"
The mission statement says it all!!
The passion of the CEO for this charity is beyond words!!
Review from Guidestar
I am a recent breast cancer survivor and found My Hope Chest about a year ago. I was fortunate enough to have good insurance in place and my mastectomy and reconstruction surgery were covered by my insurance. I also had an amazing grandfather who paid for all of my insurance deductibles the first year ($7,500). Even most insurance deductibles, like mine at $7,500 is a lot of money to come up with at once. That is one of the reasons why My Hope Chest is so important. They help women through their breast cancer journey by supporting them to get the surgeries they need to become whole again. At first I was a volunteer and am now a board member. This is a mission I truly believe in and will continue to help as many women as possible to maybe make their journey just a little bit easier! The attached photo is of my girlfriends and I at MHC 2019 Butterfly Glowalk. Create Butterflies and transform lives!
Review from Guidestar
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.
My Hope Chest is an authentic and sincere organization dedicated to really making a difference not only in the lives of uninsured women who have lost their breast(s) to a mastectomy - but also to their families and their communities.
I've seen the dedication of the founder, their supporters, the board, and the community as this non-profit is a lone voice serving this forgotten group of wonderful women whose misfortune to lose one or both breasts to cancer have crippled their return to a normal life.
Not only has My Hope Chest allowed them to regain their confidence and dignity - they go on to excel in our society as loving mothers, esteemed professionals, dedicated wives, daughters, and outstanding leaders of our community.
We need more charities to follow the lead of outstanding non-profits like My Hope Chest - led by a dedicated and altruistic survivor who is always paying it forward for others
I hosted a fund raiser for MHC at a St. Pete restaurant called Chattaway. I put a show together with all volunteers, and had a Lady Gaga performer and a Sean Paul performer too. Everyone wanted to give, including a local health food store. I only had one no show, and the loss was hers as giving is an awesome experience. I got to meet a real live recipient of breast reconstruction through this charity. The money goes to this vital part of womanhood, not to pockets of undeserving fundraising scammers. Yearly, billions of dollars go into pockets, not into cures. America cannot afford cures for illnesses. It can afford to treat them. Therefore, MHC is volunteering well spent. A mans manhood is everything to him. A womans womanhood is her breasts, both of them. Can I get an amen? Im sure I can get a million!
I am so very thankfull to My Hope Chest for taking an interest in me & my story. I really didn't think I would ever be complete again. Being an uninsured woman, who has lost a breast to cancer, without other means for reconstruction, I felt hopeless. Finding MHC has honestly changed my life for the better in many ways. Thank you Alisa & all yoir Angels.
My Hope Chest is the only non profit that takes on breast reconstruction for survivors of breast cancer that are not insured. Alisa has lived this nightmare and that is what fuels her to endlessly to help others. Alisa has dedicated her life to this cause.
Alisa is the engine behind this great organization and I am glad to help her achieve her very ambitious goal. This organization defines the meaning of non-profit. When I ask for help in the community, the feedback is genuine and we know the need is certainly there.
I have been assisting My Hope Chest with web based marketing, graphic design and event planning. Their cause is a great one, and the people involved are terrific. The events are always feel-good evenings and everyone has a great time. The Founder, Alisa, is clever and creative. Her dream and determination keep My Hope Chest alive. I have met clients served by My Hope Chest - women who have been honored to received free surgical treatment, and they are so thankful and feel so lucky.
My Hope Chest really picks up where other pink ribbon organizations leave off. Although donating to cancer research will help all future generations, My Hope Chest helps the breast cancer survivor who is right in front of us and helps her to feel whole again.
I feel as though I won the reconstruction lottery! What an amazing jouney this has been so far. I feel so blessed to have been donated my surgery with the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery in New Orleans and with Dr. Scott Sullivan. Without My Hope Chest, I would not have ever been able to have this done. My surgery was on May 4, 2011... and I feel better than ever. It is such a great thing to have somewhere to turn for help when there seems to be no options at all.
My Hope Chest funds breast reconstruction--something not covered by Susan G Komen and other breast cancer awareness programs. With si many women without health insurance, breast construction is not a possibility.
My Hope Chest needs national exposure to meet their client needs. Please support them today.
My Hope Chest is the Only national non-profit providing breast reconstruction for "uninsured" survivors. We pick up where the other pink ribbons leave off providing the "final step in breast cancer treatment".
Our work changes lives... amidst the sea of pink ribbons focusing on the same issues with the same missions, My Hope Chest is a guiding light and breath of fresh air taking on a mission that, in 2011, has not been addressed.
Approximately 6200 women a year have a mastectomy and are uninsured... Women shouldn't have to live without their breasts because they lack insurance, especially in this economy... My Hope Chest's vision is changing the world, one breast at a time.
We encourage all donors who give to breast cancer charities to look at the facts... consider dispersing their philanthropy.. .and helping us grow to reach all of those in need in your communities.