1 in 8. We all have heard the statistics, and we all hold our breath when we get the results of our mammogram. We all fear learning that we are the “1.” The reality is that most of us know someone who has been affected by this disease – in fact, the American Cancer Society estimates that over 232,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year in the United States. It is an alarming number of people who belong to this “club.” The Pink Pillow Project was founded by Nancy and Lisa, longtime friends who have personal experience with the disease. Nancy is a two-time breast cancer survivor, and Lisa’s mother lost her battle with the disease in 1989, before many of today’s beneficial genetic, pharmaceutical and therapeutic protocols were available.
On the tenth anniversary of Nancy’s diagnosis, a mammogram, which was anticipated to confirm a decade of Nancy being cancer free, showed a second occurrence of the disease. One of the things that Nancy remembered from her first surgery is how uncomfortable it was to put your arm at your side, to sit and watch TV, and to sleep. Thoughtful friends gave her different pillows to help make recovery more comfortable. Nancy began to feel like Goldilocks – one pillow was too hard, another too soft! After trying a variety of pillows around the house, she discovered one worked the best. This particular pillow contained a filling that allowed it to conform to whatever shape was the most comfortable – it was perfect! Nancy tucked the pillow under her arm and quickly realized that she couldn’t live without it!
After discovering how useful her pillow was, Nancy began to give similar pillows to everyone that she heard was facing surgery for breast cancer. The response to these pillows was overwhelmingly positive. People could not believe what a difference they made in their post-surgical recovery. Recipients also used the pillows to cushion their arms during chemotherapy infusions.
One night after an exercise class, Nancy and Lisa began to talk about the pillows and decided that it would be helpful to distribute these pillows on a larger scale – and The Pink Pillow Project was born! The Pink Pillow Project is very simple. It is dedicated to giving newly diagnosed individuals a pillow that will aid in their post-surgical recovery. This small gesture, focused on the individual directly impacted by this diagnosis, and at a time when support is most needed, is what we are dedicated to do.
With best wishes,
Nancy and Lisa