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!
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 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!
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.