Can you help – Women in Fiji?
Every little bit can make such a huge difference!
Can you imagine receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer, undergoing surgery for breast removal and chemotherapy and not having access to prosthesis or bras to help your rehabilitation and boost your confidence?
This is the reality for women in Fiji!
Due to the high cost of prosthesis, the government does not provide any assistance and with incomes in Fiji being so low there is no way these women can find the funds to get the things they need.
Two amazing women have decided to do something about it. Lily is a fully trained breast prosthesis and bra fitter, working in the community in Wollongong. She met Heather who lives in Bowral, NSW, and has a shop “The Friendly Grocer” supermarket in Roberston. She travels to Fiji 2 times a year and has done so for last 13 years. Heather mentioned that ladies in Fiji have no breast prosthesis, bras or swimsuits for coping with life after a mastectomy. She started collecting “used” items and in June they made their way to Fiji and fitted 51 women. They left additional prosthesis’s with the nurses so that they can continue helping local women. Fiji airlines carried 200 kg’s of stock for free to Fiji. What a wonderful effort.
This is an email Lily received after returning to Australia from their visit –
Hope that all is well with you.
The ladies kept calling me in the unit saying how happy they are with their prosthesis and bras.
They are wearing it now and can’t even tell which one is the prosthetic breast and which one is the real one. There’s always laughter and smiles on these ladies faces. You two are the angels who had brought positive outlooks on these ladies.
The day we were doing the fitting in the rooms, we did not know that some ladies were already dancing outside with their new set of boobs. That’s where the laughter was coming from. Some ladies relayed me the message in the clinic.
We have fitted 4 more patients and all were happy.
Thank you so much Lily for what you have done for these ladies. You have brought joy back in their lives.
The young girl Saleshni had her second mastectomy last Thursday. I visited her in the ward and she was doing well. I will go and visit her this morning after I send you this email.
It was great working with you for the 2 days of prosthesis fitting. Looking forward to see you back here next time. We will continue to keep in touch.
Take care and God Bless you richly on that wonderful work you are doing.
Regards Ana Raramasi.’
They are not asking for money, but could you help with suitable donations –
- New or used prosthesis (that will end up as land fill if simply discarded)
- New or lightly used mastectomy or normal bras (do you have old stock or even a bra or two that was bought in the wrong size?)
- New or lightly used mastectomy swimwear.
These women do this from the kindness of their hearts. Their travel costs are not funded in any way. All their efforts are fully self-funded. This is a not for profit venture, and all donated goods are provided to these very grateful women in Fiji free of charge.
Your donations can be dropped off or posted as follows –
You can visit or post items to Heather:
The Robertson Supermarket, 87 Illawarra Highway, Robertson NSW 2577
post to Lily DeSantis, P O Box 2072, Tarrawanna NSW 2518.
Please feel free to email Lily at email@example.com if you have any questions or would love to help in some way.
In Australia we are blessed to have access to Medicare rebate for the purchase of a prosthesis, surely we can all do something to help those much less fortunate.