200 Belt Buddies, in 2 hours, created by 22 Sisterhood of Support members!
Wow! What incredible energy filled our conference suite this last Sunday! Twenty-two participants – women who have been treated in this practice along with 4 relatives – worked as if they were in a sweat shop! There were seven sewing machines, two ironing boards, and work areas divided into those cutting fabric and Velcro, stuffing, and assembling. And it was all running like a well-oiled machine. The music was pumped up and so was the Belt Buddy crew making the seat belt covers for NYBRA/Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, PC patients to use following mastectomy and breast reconstruction.
At the helm of the assembly line was Chelsea Marks, Belt Buddies' coordinator and daughter of one of the members of our Sisterhood of Support (SOS) group. Chelsea dyes her hair pink as a measure of solidarity with her mother, Linda, who was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly six years ago. Linda has been an extraordinary model of Sisterhood. She has remained strongly connected to the members of her SOS group, to the various Patient Empowerment Program projects and always has boundless energy to selflessly care for those in need. Chelsea, herself a thriver of a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, is a senior at Stony Brook University and applying to Ph.D. programs to follow her dream of a profession in breast cancer research. Jen Grabowski, another amazing Sister ready to jump into any SOS project, has also been integral in this project.
One woman new to the SOS events talked of witnessing newly formed bonds – strangers leaving with new connections and commitments to continue being involved in paying it forward to newly diagnosed women. Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm and several of the women who were first time participants were moved to tears from the spirit that filled the day! A heartfelt thank you to Chelsea, Linda, Jen Grabowski and all of you amazing women who participated on Sunday and/or donated to this project. Also, on behalf of the practice and all future patients who will benefit from your efforts, we extend a heartfelt “Thank You!”
This project is fully funded by Chelsea’s GoFundMe site. If you’d like to make a difference in someone’s recovery, consider donating here: https://www.gofundme.com/beltbuddies360.
-Mollie Sugarman, Clinical Director, Patient Empowerment Program