One out of every eight women will experience breast cancer, making groups like Breast Cancer Survivors Oklahoma so important.
“We have 382 members at this time and they’re all breast cancer fighters or survivors,” said Toni Hahn creator of the nonprofit group.
Toni Hahn and Sandy Lauer are both five-year breast cancer survivors.
“I needed to make friendships with other women that have gone through the things that I was going through at that time,” said Hahn. “It just was something my family couldn’t do for me at that time. I needed somebody that I could relate to, that was also going through or had gone through breast cancer.”
“It’s a constant battle for the rest of their lives, they are living with breast cancer,” said Lauer, secretary for the nonprofit.
In addition to the emotional support, the group emphasizes early mammograms, a program created in memory of Elise, a member that passed away while in her 30s.
“We decided to do the missions for more mammograms for young ladies that are uninsured, that need to get a mammogram, they can get a mammogram for free,” said Hahn.
The members sincerely believe if Elise had done early testing the cancer would have been detected, thus saving her life.
It is recommended that women begin getting mammograms at 40. If there is a family history, women should start being monitored by their doctor sooner.
The ladies were recently approached by Victoria Heyvaert, a girl scout that created Crochet for Comfort for her gold award badge.
“I chose Crochet for Comfort because I heard that women that have undergone mastectomies typically have a hard time finding prothesis because they’re heavy, they’re hot, they’re uncomfortable and they cost a lot of money,” said Victoria.
They are all handmade, come in different sizes and through Breast Cancer Survivors Oklahoma they are free.
The group provides other means of support strictly as a service for survivors.
“We never, ever, ever, charge any of our women for anything,” said Lauer.
Everyone in the group serves on a volunteer basis. To donate or for information or even to join visit their website.