Calif. Charity Makes Free Knitted Breast Prostheses
The nonprofit Santa Clarita Valley Knitted Knockers provides free breast prosthetics made for women who have undergone mastectomies, lumpectomies, radiation or reconstruction.
“Although Santa Clarita has many services available to breast cancer survivors, there was no one locally making and providing Knitted Knockers,” said Founder Dina Kush. “Santa Clarita Valley Knitted Knockers was created to fill the void and give SCV breast cancer survivors a readily available, free alternative to regular, heavy prosthetics.” The organization partners with local yarn shops, hospitals, clinics and oncologists to get the word out about Knitted Knockers, but they also need the help of local knit and crochet communities to create the much-needed “knockers.”
Kush founded the Santa Clarita Valley Knitted Knockers in 2016, after her own mother’s battle with cancer created a desire to offer help to other survivors in the community. “Being a knitter, I made her a hat, but it was just too hot for her to wear. I couldn’t do much for her, but I wanted to do something,” said Kush. “I looked around town to see what was being done. There were blankets for preemies, plenty of hats, … but no one was making knockers.” Knitted Knockers is a nonprofit organization that brings together knitters to use their talents to create Knitted Knockers and put them in the hands of breast cancer survivors everywhere.
While traditional plastic breast prosthetics can be expensive, uncomfortable or simply too heavy for survivors to wear over healing scar tissue, Knitted Knockers are light, soft and adjustable, officials said. Typically made of cotton and bamboo blend yarns, Knockers are available in a range of sizes (sizes A-DD and larger upon request) and colors, can be worn with any regular bra, are machine washable and most importantly, are 100 percent free, according to Kush. The Santa Clarita chapter is made up of a mixture of cancer survivors, friends and family, as well as other knitting and crochet hobbyists.
The Santa Clarita chapter has donated Knitted Knockers to several local clinics and medical professionals, including Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and reconstructive surgeons. The group is currently sending most of their creations to the parent organization for distribution, which is why Kush encourages any Santa Clarita residents in need to contact them.
“We want to help Santa Clarita, but there’s just not enough word out there for us to get our Knockers to them,” said Kush. “We’re hoping to change that.”
Santa Clarita Valley Knitted Knockers supplies all donated Knockers with a kit including a knitted laundry bag as well, care instructions and a handmade tag with the knitter’s first name and inspirational quotes.
“It is a supportive group, whether they are a first-time knitter or a master,” said Kush. “We encourage everyone to share our Knockers with anyone they know who could benefit. This is a labor of love; we just want to get this out to the people in need as well as we can.”
Anyone interested in a pair of Knitted Knockers can send an email request with their name, address and telephone contact info, along with bra cup size, if a pair or single Knocker is needed and color preference. Santa Clarita Valley Knitted Knockers meets every third Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The Open Book in Canyon Country, and any knitter or crocheter is welcome to join.
Members offer to teach visitors how to make their own Knitted Knockers using the approved yarns and patterns. Even if supporters are not interested in knitting or crocheting, they can still help through donations.
For more information or to make a donation, visit the parent organization website, or contact the local chapter via email at SCVKnittedKnockers@gmail.com.