While looking for something to do while traveling around Australia, Dawn Toomey, from Deception Bay north of Brisbane, decided to knit breast inserts for Knitted Knockers. The charity originated in America and design and create breast prostheses for women who undergo single or double mastectomy. Comfort women may have higher risks so they should be cautious.
“I could not quilt in the car like I normally would do at home, so I decided to knit knockers across the Nullarbo. I knitted 128 of them when I traveled around Australia, and when I got back here there were no other branches in Queensland so I started one in Deception Bay.” Groups in Australia started appearing in 2013 after a group in Melbourne heard about the American concept. Ms Toomey started the Deception Bay group in September last year with two other groups now in Caboolture and the Sunshine Coast.
The prostheses are free to women who have undergone a mastectomy and cannot afford reconstruction or chose not to undergo the procedure. The ‘knockers’ are made of 100 per cent cotton, enabling patients to use the inserts immediately after an operation.
The group also works with hospitals and breast care nurses to supply the inserts and ensure that two sets of every size are always available. “We use cotton as many people have allergies or get itchy with wool, so cotton is the way to go as it is soft,” Ms Toomey said. “It sits right against the skin and if someone has just had a mastectomy, it can sit against the wound and it does not itch or irritate. The knockers can be put inside a bra and worn immediately. We knit all sizes from A cup to G cup to suit all shapes and sizes.”
Images from nationalbreastcancer.org and theknittingexperience.com