Thousands of breast cancer patients are perishing while those who are lucky enough to survive battle a low self- esteem due to the scars left behind by the menace.
For any woman, breasts are an intimate and indispensable part of their body since they boost confidence and make one feel like a woman irrespective of their size.
Therefore, losing a breast to any disease, cancer included can emotionally drain any woman especially those whose confidence and pride emanates from their looks.
LIMAU CANCER CONNECTION
This is why a group of Kenyan women and women are devoted to ensure that the situation does not have to be any worse.
The group consists of women who have survived the menace and men whose wives succumbed to it.
Together, they have taken it upon themselves to support other breast cancer survivors through a unique and touching initiative- knitting artificial breasts for women who have undergone mastectomy.
The group, going by the name Limau Cancer Connection is based in Nairobi and is steered by Nancy Githoitho.
The term “Limau” translates to lemon in English. Thus the name is derived from the famous quote “when life gives you lemon, make lemonade” in English.
The group knits “knockers” which replace the silicone prostheses for the victims of breast cancer.
According to Ms Githoitho, the cancer support group was established with the desire of reaching out to women whose lives have greatly changed due to breast cancer.
THE ONE-BREAST SYNDROME
Losing her mother to cancer, Ms Githoito had the opportunity to understand the emotional drain and painstaking moments that her mother had to bear.
After paying a visit to Kenya to check on her mother, Ms Githoitho went back with a burdened heart and vowed to do her best to touch other women’s lives.
She, therefore, conducted thorough research on the available alternatives of silicon prosthesis. This is how she came up with an ingenious idea of Knitted silicons.
The idea has worked before in Rwanda.
Ms Githoitho confesses that her mother’s greatest fear was people knowing that she had a single breast.
PROSTHETIC AND MASTECTOMY BRAS
She one day called her and requested to be bought a prosthetic and mastectomy bras.
Ms Githoitho was taken aback when she discovered that the cost of acquiring prosthetics and special bras was very high in Kenya.
She could not help empathizing with the thousands of Kenyan women who were experiencing a similar turmoil as her mother but they cannot afford them.
After going back to the USA, she came across knitted knockers and got in touch with the founder Barbara Demores, a breast cancer survivor.
Barbara connected her to a team that she had trained in Rwanda. That is how the idea of knockers was conceived.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
However, some Kenyan women who are lucky enough to afford prosthetics have expressed their dissatisfaction with the knockers.
They claim that they easily slide out of place especially during hot seasons. Many prefer knitted boobs.
Anne Nyambura, a beneficiary, on the contrary, prefers the knockers to silicon prosthesis since the knitted boobs are easy to wear.
Besides, one can wear any bra.
Apart from knitting and distributing the knitted boobs to breast cancer survivors, Limau Cancer Connection is also devoted to rebuilding the confidence of victims whose lives have been greatly affected by the disease.
The group also serves as a support network which gives the members a chance to pour out their hearts and encourage one another.
Ms Githoitho currently uses her cash to run the group, with some aid from a similar group in the United States.