Community Service Project: American Cancer Society Breast Inserts and Bags

American Cancer Society Breast Cancer logoIn April, our Community Services Chair was contacted by the American Cancer Society’s North Shore Regional Office to help provide some basic needs for breast cancer patients. American Sewing Guild members can help by sewing breast forms, “ditty” bags to hold the fabric breast inserts, pillows and Anti-Ouch pouches.

American Cancer Society sewn breast insertThe breast inserts, pillow and bags are used in the American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery program, in which a recently-diagnosed breast cancer patient is matched with a trained volunteer who has been through the same situation. After meeting with the American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery volunteer, the patient is provided a kit with literature, a breast form (if needed) and a small pillow.

The small pillow is used the help alleviate the arm/shoulder area after the patient has had his/her surgery.

American Cancer Society Anti-Ouch PouchThe Anti-Ouch Pouch is a pillow that hangs from the shoulder, fitting snugly under the arm to cushion the area after breast surgery or during radiation treatment.The wedge shape gently holds the arm away from the body when the user is standing. The strap holds the pillow in place without having to use sore arm muscles to “clutch” it. The Anti-Ouch Pouch was also a previous national American Sewing Guild community service.

Links to patterns for all requested items are available online and free to download. When making the breast forms, please use soft, cotton fabrics in neutral shades. The forms and pillows are filled with Polyfill stuffing.

There’s no correlation between the numbers of ditty bags and inserts; they are not “sets”. They are all given as separate items to whomever needs them. So, feel free to make just one type of item if it suits your fabric stash or comfort level. To coordinate delivery of completed items, please contact Marge D., Community Services Chair, via email. Additional information can be found on the ASG Chicago main website.

Join Us For A Community Service Sew-In: July 16

Join the Arlington Heights Neighborhood Group on July 16 for a day of community service sewing. They will be sewing Adult Bibs, Pillowcases, American Cancer Society Ditty Bags and Pillows. All fabric will be supplied. You supply the fun! Location and contact information can be found on our ASG Chicago main website’s Upcoming Events page. We hope to see you there!

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2 Responses

  1. I received my “Ouch-pouch” the day I had my Mastectomy in June, 2011 and I am still using it when in the passenger seat of an automobile under the seat belt strap. It just helps me be more comfortable. I have literally worn a hole in the fabric so am going to try to make myself a new one with the pattern shown. It has been well used and much appreciated!

    • That’s wonderful to hear that it’s been put to multiple uses! Cheers to you for being a survivor, too!

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