Hi! My name is Chrissy Heinbach and my story is like millions of others who are fighting breast cancer. I’ve been through it all, and one day began to wonder, how could I help others fighting this disease? I recalled how the simplest gestures and comfort items helped me through this difficult stage of life.
It was February of 2008, only 16 months after a life changing decision to purchase our bar, when I discovered a lump in my breast. After receiving my full diagnosis everything went very quickly. Scans started, biopsies began, and ultrasounds vigorously consumed my days and in April my right breast was removed. The tumor was tested and the doctors determined it was grade 3: a very aggressive tumor. This changed all aspects of the type, length, and amount of treatments I was about to receive. This was a completely unfamiliar chain of events and my head was spinning. I’ve also had few close to me (thankfully!) that had suffered any type of cancer so everything was unknown.
Following my surgery, I quickly realized that when your sensitive body is dressed in bandages and drain tubes you’ll reach for something that is easy to put on. Except—I did not bring any clothing that I did not need to pull over my head! This is a very simple thing one would not think twice about until it happens. Unfortunately, I didn’t even have these items easily accessible at home and had to ask my daughter, Catesha, to bring anything she owned with a zipper to make things easier for me. It’s very chilly in the treatment rooms, so the hoodie was perfect for me and made it easier for the nurses to access my port. In the end, I had 3 more constructive surgery’s and the zip up hoodies were exactly what I needed!
One evening after sharing my story with my close friend Amber and her boyfriend, Anthony, we all wondered, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could give all the patients a hoodie?” From there our mission was born: To provide every woman enduring a mastectomy the comfort of a Zip Up Hoodie after their delicate surgery.
“Wouldn’t it be cool if we could give all the patients a hoodie?”
It wasn’t soon after that Anthony secretly took charge of our idea and got things started. He then showed up to the bar one evening, pulled us aside and said, Girls in the Hoodie™ was officially our Non-profit organization and he had begun prototyping samples!
Amber is now Vice-President of our organization and Jaime, another dear friend, our Secretary. We believe we have come together for a reason and have a very special bond. Both of the girls’ mothers passed from Breast Cancer. They tell me that I survived to be their “2nd” mother.
Now, we’re all coming together to raise money for all women fighting this terrible disease. Our organization will hand out FREE Zip Up Hoodies to our local breast cancer treatment center with the hope of someday becoming a national organization. A hoodie may sound insignificant to some, but it provides an emotional and physical comfort to know that someone has your back.
Prior to Girlz in the Hoodie™ we had raised over $20,000 that was directly donated to a local individual in need. Last year was our first fundraiser as Girlz in the Hoodie™ and we raised $23,000 to develop and purchase garments for the organization.
We hope to be able to continue to grow. Thank you for all of your support.