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Residents around the Country Featured in Reader’s Digest This Month for Being “Breast Cancer Heroes” #BCA

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Residents around the Country Featured in Reader’s Digest This Month for Being “Breast Cancer Heroes”

Oct. 9, 2013 – Grassroots groups around the country have made it their passion and mission to give breast cancer survivors the best life possible. Reader’s Digest spoke to these breast cancer heroes in a story in the October issue and online.

Here are their stories:

The Knitters – Laughter and the staccato of clicking needles fill the air at the Tempe Yarn & Fiber shop in Arizona. It’s Friday evening, and volunteers lovingly produce colorful piles of “knitted knockers,” prostheses for women who have had mastectomies without reconstructive surgery. When put in a bra, the knockers—which are lighter and softer than silicone and plastic versions—look and feel like real breasts.
Since its inception three years ago, the group has supplied more than 2,000 knockers to women in some 40 states. The website provides patterns for do-it-yourselfers and lists groups that make and distribute the prostheses to women in need.

The Healthy Cook – Ann Ogden Gaffney is the daughter of a master baker and the granddaughter of a chef. But it took two bouts of cancer for her to learn about the therapeutic benefits of eating well through cooking and to pass that knowledge on to others. She decided to launch Cook for Your Life, a nonprofit that provides free monthly cooking classes to cancer patients and caregivers, who learn to cook an entire meal with fresh, plant-based ingredients. Five years later, in 2012, she created the website, which offers cooking videos, a nutritionist to answer questions, and a search engine that organizes recipes based on treatment, side effect, and dietary needs.

The Tattoo Artist – Vinnie Myers, 51, didn’t expect to spend his career tattooing 3-D nipples on breast cancer patients’ reconstructed breasts. He started tattooing to earn extra money as a U.S. Army medic in South Korea in the 1980s and then built up a business in his native Maryland. In 2001, a local breast surgeon first asked Myers to create the impression of real nipples on a patient after her breast cancer surgery. But it wasn’t until Myers’s younger sister was diagnosed with the disease nearly a decade later that he knew this would be his life’s work. His nipples are so lifelike that they fool the eye, which gives women who’ve had mastectomies and reconstruction an aesthetic sense of wholeness.

Disclosure: Information provided by Good Man Media.


  1. Knitting a breast prosthesis? Now I've heard everything. Interesting concept!

  1. love the name "knittedknockers" and 3D tattoos of nipples....well...words fail me. What loving innovations for those in need! Thanks, Deb, for sharing this post. It gives hope.

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