Local group works to provide women with handmade Knitted Knockers after breast cancer treatment.
For this group of Colorado crafters, knitting and crocheting are more than a hobby, they're ways to help others—specifically, women recovering from breast cancer. The Great Knockers Again craft handmade breast prosthetics for women who have had mastectomies or other procedures to their breasts during cancer treatment. For some women, reconstruction is not an option after treatment, leaving them with another battle to face.
Traditional breast prosthetics can be heavy, hot, expensive, and cannot be worn for weeks after surgery, and often require special bras or undergarment for the wearer. Knitted Knockers are soft, lightweight, and customizable to feel natural and allow the wearer to have the confidence to get back out there and feel comfortable again after breast cancer treatment.
In 2011, breast cancer survivor Barbara Demorest faced this very same situation. She was given a pattern for a knitted prosthetic by her doctor and asked a friend to make one for her. After the amazing results, Demorest wanted to help other women and began working to do so through the Knitted Knockers organization. She discovered that the movement had been started by a young woman in Maine who invented the knitted knocker, but could no longer keep up with the demand. So, Demorest took up the torch and ran with it.
Operation is done on a complete volunteer basis, materials and postage are paid for by donation, and the prosthetics themselves are free to any woman who needs them through doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics, and the community. A set can also be requested via the website.
Currently, there are over 450 groups of volunteer knitters and crochet artists in each of the 50 states, and in other countries, who help make this all possible.
The Great Knockers Again are a local group here in Colorado that meets once a month at the Pinery Creek Yarn store in Centennial. Many of those who attend are breast cancer survivors wanting to give back and help others. Started in 2017 by Mary Turek, the group is dedicated to providing local women with these prosthetics—more than 4,000 women in the state are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
Mary Turek (left) | Courtesy of Great Knockers Again (Facebook)
This certainly sounds like a worthy cause and great way to get to know other crafters and help the breast cancer community. We commend these lovely women and all who help them make this possible!
Had you ever heard of Knitted Knockers or any other local groups dedicated to helping cancer survivors? Share with us know in the comments below.