Post written by Sasha Yanes
Sasha is the Chief of Staff at Care+Wear.
Reflecting on Breast Cancer Awareness month, it’s impossible for me not to step back and survey the impact of this disease: one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. That means the devastating reality is that many – if not all – of us will know at least one woman grappling with both the physical and psychological toll of this condition.
For me, this is more than a statistic — it is a personal reality and a large part of why I decided to join Care+Wear as Chief of Staff.
After three years working with an organization focused on improving access to and quality of mental health care, I made the decision to join Care+Wear in March of 2021. In the two years before joining Care+Wear, many of my loved ones had been diagnosed with breast cancer, including my mother and two close friends – both of whom were women between the ages of 30 and 33.
As a society, we often discuss the impacts of cancer treatment on the body – loss of hair, nausea, mastectomies – but don’t spend enough time discussing how it impacts patients’ minds. Only after bearing witness to these three powerful women undergoing treatment was I able to see the turmoil each was enduring on a daily basis.
In these moments, it became clear to me that it was not just important to treat patients holistically, it was vital. I’ve seen firsthand how small acts of kindness, expressions of gratitude, and being present for a loved one can make a dramatic impact on the course of their treatment.
And that’s what brought me to Care+Wear: a company that creates physical, tangible solutions to improve the lives and spirits of individuals experiencing chronic conditions or undergoing long-term treatment. The mission resonated in a powerful way: when you’re undergoing treatment, the last thing you want to do is deal with logistics – you need physical and emotional support. Care+Wear provides that.
Through the products, questions that often gnaw at cancer patients, like “Will it be cold in the infusion room?” or “What happens if my insertion site gets infected?” or even “How will I put on my bra after surgery?” are answered.
My first thought was, “I wish I had found these products earlier.”
I wish that my mom had known that there was an organization committed to simplifying her life as she fought tirelessly.
I wish that my friends would have been exposed to a company with the goal of restoring their dignity and comfort during their cancer treatment journeys.
And finally, I wish for every woman who is “one out of eight,” that they know they are not alone. Care+Wear’s community of breast cancer patients and survivors – a supportive network of clinicians, caregivers, and brave individuals embarking on their healthcare journeys – is open to everyone battling this disease to share, learn, and support one another.