I found out about this nasty little device when one of my good friends, Darlene, underwent a mastectomy and left the hospital with her JP drain suspended from her neck with a 36 inch shoelace! As I understand it, some hospitals pin the drain to clothing, but in our valley, suspending the drain seems to be the preferred method.
Now I don't know about you, but I can't even begin to imagine the indignity a woman must feel after having lost a breast and then having to wear a shoelace! And so, the Lanyards for Dignity project was born. Darlene, being a beader, went home and created a beaded lanyard to hold her drain. It was quite simple really, just thirty six inches of strong beading wire, some beautiful beads, and a toggle at each end. Voila - Jackson-Pratt jewelry!
But when she showed us the original hospital shoelace, and told us her story, well, a bunch of us gal pals became outraged and went to work. A handful of us started buying beads, wire and toggles, and making lanyards for other women in the same situation. Darlene would take them and package them in lovely bags and then would take a basket of lanyards to her surgeon for other women with breast cancer. And that surgeon spread the wealth to other surgeons...
...And wouldn't you know it...we can't keep up with the need. One surgeon in our area does approximately 15 mastectomies a month! So we're trying to spread the word. It's not a difficult or expensive craft project. You can do it while watching television. It's pretty mindless to string pretty beads on a wire, but it's oooohhhhhh so appreciated! I can't tell you the number of times we've heard from ladies whose days were brightened because they were allowed to choose a beautiful beaded lanyard when times were at their darkest.
October 25th is National Make a Difference Day. This is a perfect craft/service project for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, church groups, retirees - pretty much anyone. And all you need to do is locate a women's surgeon and share the love. We even got a local craft store to donate some beads and set up a 'make and take' to honor breast cancer awareness month - only this event was 'make and donate!'
So won't you join us and Make a Difference? It means so much to the ladies who must endure this ultimate indignity! It makes their fight just a little bit prettier. If you need more information, just leave your e-mail in the comments. And thanks for helping to make Lanyards for Dignity!
#MDDay #breastcancer, #breastcancerawareness