The Reporter: Breast Cancer Hug Wraps
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and pink products are flooding shelves to spread awareness about the second leading cause of cancer death among women. This week I spoke with Brenda Jones, a breast cancer survivor from New Jersey and the creator of Hug Wraps—gowns made in warm, fun fabrics that add a touch of fashion to the typically unflattering hospital robe. Jones says she came up with the idea for Hug Wraps after her experience with cancer and realizing that this small change could have a big impact on her confidence. Available online, more and more patients in Wisconsin and around the world are reaching for this stylish and uplifting alternative to bland hospital garb.
Describe your history with breast cancer. I found the lump on a self exam in October 2008. I had two surgeries, went through radiation treatment for seven weeks. I am cancer free now, but the biggest fear I have is that someday it will come back.
How did you came to the idea of Hug Wraps? By the time I got to radiation treatment, I had had enough. I was told to change into a hospital gown Monday through Friday and when I would go into the room, there would be a couple stacks of blue hospital gowns. They were itchy, thin, and not comfortable. It screams, “I am a patient and I am sick.” I couldn’t control cancer, but I wanted to control what I had to wear.
Within five or 10 minutes, I had the perfect hospital gown designed in my head. Except there was one problem: I did not know how to sew. I enlisted my girlfriend who helped me learn. That weekend we created the first Hug Wrap, which was made out of a bed sheet.
It is designed in kimono style and had no metal in it. Just warm, flannel material so it is not problem for radiation patients! I continued to meet other patients and made Hug Wraps for them and it kept spiraling. I went from not knowing how to sew, to having about 400 made. The act of sewing gave me something to do for an hour and a half. It gave me a mission and an outlet.
Do you have a motto for Hug Wraps? You have to wear something louder than cancer.
As breast cancer survivor, what is your biggest piece of advice for other cancer patients? You can do this. Anybody who goes through a cancer diagnosis goes through 50 million emotions and I did it. Everybody says you will be fine, but you don’t know that. YOU CAN DO THIS.
Hug Wraps are now available for all cancer patients and even children (which come with a pillow and blanket). Jones has made hundreds of wraps for people around the United States. Patients in Poland, England and Canada have even requested the fashionable gowns! Although she started making them for free, Jones admits her resources have become stretched and she now asks for a donation and the cost of shipping.
Please consider showing your support for cancer patients and their comfort. More information about Hug Wraps can be found at: hugwraps.com or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.