Survivor Friendly® is a one-stop-shop for cancer patients and survivors, meeting your individual needs with grace. Owned and operated by a cancer survivor [EME2] who understands the frustration of the standard, impersonal, purely functional shopping experience, you can be sure you’ll be treated at Survivor Friendly® as the unique woman you are, with your dignity and beauty getting the attention they deserve.
Survivor Friendly® carries both custom and off-the-shelf products:
· breast cancer mastectomy bras
· compression garments
· natural skin and lotion products
· and much more! [EME4]
Our BOC-certified fitters will engage with you [EME5] in a thorough[EME6] consultation, enabling them to understand your unique needs [EME7] and goals. Support groups and education sessions are available, covering a wide range of relevant topics.
After breast surgery, many women feel they will never be whole again. At Survivor Friendly®, we believe physical and emotional healing go hand in hand. A caring attitude, a private supportive environment, and attention to your individual needs will aid your emotional healing while providing for your physical needs.
We also believe that life should be about choices . . .
· Do I want to wear a black bra or a white bra today? Or maybe even one with lace? Or how about a smooth cup mastectomy bra?
· Can I get breast forms to match my skin color? And do I care about that if they’re going inside the bra? (Maybe you don’t, maybe you do. The point is, YOU should get to choose!)
You deserve options that are as personal as they are functional! And, of course, we’ll keep it all affordable by helping you navigate the complex world of insurance coverage, as well.
We constantly strive to provide not only a mastectomy product but a valuable service. You can go anywhere to buy your mastectomy products, but the wrong fit can have long-term effects on your posture, on your back . . . and on your self-confidence. Our certified fitters who assist you with your selections will start by taking the time to understand your unique needs and goals. Then they’ll use their expert knowledge of our product line to help you reach your goals by informing you about product options . . . and allowing your choices to keep you in control.
Our Story: Jacqueline, the owner of Survivor Friendly®, lost her mom to breast cancer when she was only eight. Then, in June of 2020, her dad died from cancer as well. Her own very personal experiences working with survivors, backed up by NC state research, confirmed for her the need for a one-stop-shop offering durable medical equipment specifically for women with breast cancer diagnoses.
As a woman of color , Jackie learned the hard way about the appalling lack of variety when it comes to ethnicities and product lines. Perhaps even worse, she experienced firsthand the dehumanizing lack of the personal touch that’s needed to assist women with this difficult transition. Jackie found this need in North Carolina . . . and, indeed, industry-wide.
“I can’t tell you the number of stores I went to, the number of insurance claims I had to figure out, and the number of times I experienced the sheer frustration of having to settle for getting such personal items in such an impersonal way,” Jackie said. [EME12]
The intensity of cancer treatment means there are many side effects that an average salesperson just couldn’t know about. But a cancer survivor sure could! [EME13] And that’s why Jackie set out to offer the information, support, and product choices cancer survivors need to regain confidence in their daily lives.
The owner and operator of Survivor Friendly® beat Cancer for the third time, finally being clinically declared cancer free after having five tumors between 2013 and 2020, a lumpectomy and two bilateral mastectomies, and many surgeries in between.
“I cherish each day I breathe life. But my heart is burdened by the lack of resources available to people just like me who are traveling through a health journey just like mine. I plan to do something about that,” Jackie said.
“My chest is full of scars. Most of the time, I used to change in the dark so my husband, who loves me more than life itself, would not see me. Though I am the most confidant person you will meet, the day I took off my bandages to reveal my new body without breasts was devastating. For a moment, I questioned everything; I was confused and I was mad. I avoided a mirror for weeks—a flat chest, I discovered, makes my stomach stick out even further. God had to help me accept this new me, and I’m still on that acceptance path. I didn’t need that added frustration of having to buy my mastectomy products from stores and vendors staffed by random people who don’t understand my struggle, my surgeries, my proper measurements, and the unintended reaction that comes from seeing my scars. And the fact that I can’t quickly get prosthetics that are anywhere close to my skin color is really disheartening,” Jackie explained.
“My body will never be the same. It’s tough to have to revalidate myself as a woman and, at the same time, to be thankful for the gift of my life. Now add the hair that’s slowly growing back, the missing eyebrows, the darkened nails, the swollen body, the missing eyelashes, and the early menopausal symptoms that started when I was just 34! I am thankful for health insurance, but there were many gap exceptions (because of lack of resources in my area), and the delayed repayment was an issue. I managed. But I wanted to do more than manage. I wanted to thrive!”
Over and over, I walked into businesses that were staffed by people who just didn’t understand what I’d been through; specialty shops that allotted only 30-minute appointments, with salespeople firing off questions with no real concern for my personal needs and goals. All that pushed me to a place where I had to do something. And so I did!”
Our History: Survivor Friendly started in 2014 years ago in partnership with Genuine Self Images, our 501c3. Its mission is to raise awareness in the marketplace of side effects to help survivors transition from surviving to thriving during their shopping experience and workplace. We also distributed bags to different Cancer centers and mask overseas to provide for free beauty essential not covered by insurance.
In 2020 we purchased a beautiful building and created a beautiful space for breast Cancer survivors to encounter intimate and personal experiences. Survivor Friendly will be the first in all of Eastern US to be a one-stop shop for specialty items for Cancer survivors and women (DEMOS) only focused on mastectomy products, cranial prosthetic wigs, and other personal care needs.