Local News

Jul 11, 2014 1:29 PM by Sara Donchey

Prosthetics Give Breast Cancer Survivors New Confidence, Support

CORPUS CHRISTI -- Lamarr Graves is a survivor.

Thirty years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent a mastectomy--a procedure in which doctors surgically removed one of her breasts.

Graves said it was a big blow to her confidence.

"It was quite traumatic to me," Graves said. "I just felt like I was (always going to look) lopsided."

Graves considered reconstructive surgery, but wasn't convinced it was the best option for her.

Doctors showed her photographs of what her results would look like, but Graves didn't like what she saw.

She found new hope, however, when she learned about breast prosthetics.

It included a bra with a special insert on one or both sides, specially designed for women who'd had a mastectomy.

Graves knew it was the right solution for her to feel whole again.

"I just felt so much, much more like my old self."

Now Graves spends her time as a volunteer for the Breast Friends program at the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation, where she helps other women get fitted for their own custom prosthetics.

Meredith Grantham, the Chief Operating Officer of the foundation has overseen the program, and knows how prosthetics can reshape not only a woman's figure, but her confidence also.

"I just can't even explain how rewarding it is," Grantham said. "I'm just constantly reminded of the resilience of the human spirit."

In 30 minutes, women are fitted with new bras, new prosthetics, and are given new hope to feel good again--free of charge.

"I want them to not go through it alone and to know that there is help," Graves said.

The prosthetic sets aren't cheap--they run about $200 dollars each--and the foundation has a limited supply.

They're asking for donations to help them continue their free service for breast cancer survivors and are always looking for volunteers to help out with the program.

If you'd like to help, give them a call at (361) 814-2001.

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