Jefferson Award finalist: Lauren Groves
CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - In our first report featuring the four finalists for Wyoming’s Jefferson Award... I got to meet a doctor in Laramie who, despite being retired, still volunteers at a clinic and a hospice.
In this report, I got to speak with our second finalist. A woman who leads a charity in Casper. A charity that aims to help women feel more stylish and comfortable after a mastectomy.
Bosom Buddies is a group of friends in the Casper area, who knit together homemade breast prosthetics. Lauren Groves, the president of the group, says the idea came from a friend in 2008.
“Well, we were a group of people knitting at a yarn shop here in town. And the own of the yarn shop, Charlotte Kenner, came in and said I want to knit bosoms. She found a pattern somewhere. And she said this seems like it will be a good idea. So we found somebody. She located somebody who was in need of a breast prosthetic. We knitted them and she said ‘These are great!’ When Charlotte mentioned this, it just hit home with me. This may be some thing that people can really use and need.”
For Groves, helping breast cancer survivors feel more comfortable after a mastectomy is a subject that hits close to home.
“My mother was a breast cancer survivor. And she had a breast prosthetic that had been prescribed to her. And she found it to be so uncomfortable. Because she had had a lot of radiation, and her skin was real sensitive, she wasn’t able to wear her breast prosthetic.”
Bosom Buddies, the name of the group and the product themselves, officially became a non-profit in 2011. There’s around eleven members now, including some in Green River and Cheyenne. “We knit and provide these to people at no charge. We’ve never charged anybody for Bosom Buddies. We use really high quality materials, that we knit them out of and stuff them with. They’re made with a lot of love and a lot of time.”
Though women of Wyoming are their focus, Groves says they’ve received requests from places like Florida and Hawaii... Thanks to their Facebook page.
“If people hear about us throughout the country... It’s pretty hard for us to turn somebody down, and say you don’t live in Wyoming so you can’t have these. So we do and have distribute them to other places.”
It’s a labor of love for Groves, and she’s proud of the mission Bosom Buddies accomplishes. “Just hear from women all the time... I feel like a woman again, thank you so much, this (has) really made my life more comfortable.”
And in some exciting news we learned just recently, Bosom Buddies is receiving a grant from the Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative to aid in their mission of helping breast cancer survivors.
We will announce the winner of Wyoming’s Jefferson Award first at a banquet for the finalists, then here on our newscast.
The national ceremony for the Jefferson Awards takes place in Washington, DC.
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