The “Knitted Knockers” group is making women feel ‘whole’ again one cross-stitch at a time.
Across the country, a group of volunteers are making ‘Knitted Knockers’ – a free, cotton breast prosthesis for breast cancer survivors who have undergone a mastectomy.
Their popularity is growing rapidly as they are significantly lighter, softer, and more comfortable than silicone prostheses.
“They’re the best things since the safety pin was invented actually,” 85-year-old Illma Reed told ABC, who received a “knocker” after having a mastectomy in 2015.
“They can give a woman her figure back and it’s something that can be removed and washed and the filling renewed.
“It can make you feel like you’re not lopsided.”
The volunteers tend to be breast cancer survivors themselves, and follow a dedicated pattern so each prosthesis meets strict quality control standards. They are usually designed to be a neutral off-white colour, but can be produced in brighter colours if requested. They also have a porthole that allows them to be refilled with hypoallergenic filling if it loses its shape over time.
Albany-based breast cancer nurse Jacky Jones told ABC that a lot of women aren’t too keen to wear the silicone alternatives provided by hospitals.
“The government does a program every two years for an external (silicone) prosthesis, but a lot of women don’t want to wear a heavy prosthesis all the time,” she told the publication.
As a result, Jones connects these women to their local Knitted Knockers group so they can find out whether the cotton breast prosthesis is the right fit for them.
“I think it’s fantastic. It’s a community group, it’s volunteer-run and it’s a story of women coming together to help other women,” she said.
“And it’s not a clinical thing. It’s in a friendly, community environment.”