Many organizations have been hard at work throughout the month of October to increase awareness about breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
One survivor in Lincoln is hoping that by sharing her story, others will learn more about help available to them in the form of something called, "Knitted Knockers."
"It's soft and it's filled with cotton," says Linda Briw, when describing her knitted knocker, a lightweight breast prosthetic she uses daily. The knockers are made of soft, non-wool, washable yarn.
Briw received a knitted knocker last July after her mastectomy.
"They're filled with filler cotton and it makes is so that it's squishy, it feels real," she adds.
After the mastectomy, Briw tells ABC10 she’s been able to stay strong thanks to her faith and the support from her friends and family.
“I'm defined by the fact that I'm a mom, I'm a sister, I'm a wife, I'm an aunt – and those are the things that are important to me."
Briw says her identity isn’t based off her body image, but explains how the Knitted Knocker has been instrumental in helping her feel like herself again.
"When people look at you, you don't want them to see a missing area, and it's soft so that when someone comes to hug you, they're not feeling something unusual. It feels very natural," Briw said.
Teresita Valadez is part of Angels in Stiches, a knitting and crocheting group in Sacramento that makes about 40 Knitted Knockers per month.
According to Valadez, it costs about $2 to make each prosthetic.
“Each knocker is given to the person for free, so there's no cost," Valadez said.
She explained how they’re more comfortable than the traditional prosthetics.
“They're so valuable because the real prosthetics are plastic and they're really heavy, and they're really hard," Valadez said.
The Knitted Knockers are made in all bra sizes and various colors.
“Even though Knitted Knockers are called Knitted Knockers, it is both crocheting and knitting," Valadez adds.
Even though Valadez never gets to meet the recipients of her work of art, she says it's her way of making a difference.
“You're doing it for somebody else to help them with something that can happen to any of us, but what you discover is that the love that you give comes right back to you.
To learn more about how the Knitted Knockers are made and how you can request one, visit www.knittedknockers.org
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