by Sarah Swindell
The East Carolina Chapter of Knitted Knockers is working to provide knitted (or sometimes crocheted!) prosthetics to local patients who have undergone a mastectomy or other breast procedure. The new Greenville chapter of Knitted Knockers is part of an international movement working to liberate women from the confines and cost of silicon-based or other traditional prosthetic breasts, and is modeled after its sister group in Elizabeth City.
Started by a breast cancer survivor in Washington, the national organization of Knitted Knockers works to provide comfortable and durable breast prosthetics at no cost to the women receiving them through local groups or chapters like the East Carolina Chapter. Customizable and adjustable, these prosthetics are unique in their softness, near weightlessness, and their ability to be shaped and stuffed to fit the body and proportions of each individual woman.
The knit prosthetics are made of soft, washable cotton yarn and filled with a poly-fiber filling that is able to be added or removed at a women’s discretion. This gives the prosthetics a wonderful flexibility to fit into any regular bra, sports bra, or mastectomy bra. The knockers can even be pinned or sewn onto a bra to give the wearer extra security. All these aspects allow women to live without daily anxieties about a prosthetic that is out of proportion or uncomfortable to wear.
The East Carolina Knitted Knockers Chapter was started and is currently coordinated by Carol Taylor, a cancer survivor who personally knows the benefits of these knockers. She is excited to welcome anyone into this new endeavor through donations or volunteering. With constant demand, the chapter is always looking for eager knitters and crocheters ready to join the movement!
Each pair is created with an understanding and empathy for the individual who will one day receive them. Created with optimally designed patterns, all knockers are meet specific parameters to ensure that women in Greenville receive high-quality knockers equal to those created by other locally-run groups in places like Maine, California, Haiti, and even as far as Kenya.
All labor to create knockers is done by passionate volunteers. All materials are donated to ensure that no monetary cost of supplies is passed down to the patients. The primary crafters for East Carolina Knitted Knockers is a group of ladies at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church. The knitting circle is supported by other volunteer knitters in the community and beyond in Eastern North Carolina.
With the support of these amazing crafters and their service, the East Carolina Knitted Knockers officially adopted the Vidant Medical Cancer Care Center in Greenville in 2018. It was the first official connection within the region through which the chapter and its volunteers were able to deliver the handmade prosthetics to patients. The group is growing its reach within the local area through awareness and in collaboration with Vidant employees who are working to support and uplift the patients receiving care at their facility.
The East Carolina Kitted Knockers group hopes to grow the group in order to offer their gifts to many other women. Learn more about the East Carolina Knitted Knockers on their Facebook page: Knitted Knockers – East Carolina Chapter. Carol Taylor and the rest of the team invite women in need of a pair of their clever creations to reach out to the group.