Sue Powers, RN, MS, distinctly remembers her discomfort when her mother was undergoing treatment for breast cancer almost 20 years ago and couldn’t find a comfortable bra. “We had nowhere to turn for help,” Sue said, “so I decided that I would find a way to create a safe space for women to shop for bras, wigs, and other items that would help them while undergoing cancer treatments.”
In 2010, as the associate director for the Center for Healthy Living, Sue and others launched A Caring Place, a small boutique within the Cancer Center that provides free consultations for patients to find properly fitting bras, wigs, head covers, prosthetics and other products that insurance might not cover.
Soon she discovered that several patients in need of these products couldn’t afford to pay for them. So she reached out to the Winton Club to help these women. Since then, the Winton Club has donated $10,000 annually to A Caring Place.
Sue holds dear a folder filled with thank you notes like these:
“Two months ago, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and I didn’t have the money to buy a wig, which can cost hundreds of dollars. My caregiver applied for and received a grant to get me a new wig.” She ends her note with optimism, “I have a long road ahead of me, but thanks to A Caring Place, I can now face my journey with hope and confidence.”
“Many thanks for your giving hearts,” another note read. “I was able to find a prosthesis and bra that suits my mother-in-law.” The card ended with a proverb, “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing.”
As for Sue, she is thrilled to help other women in her mother’s honor. “My mom would have been very proud of what we have created for others at A Caring Place.”