I didn’t want to let October slip away without honoring National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So when Sharon Linder, the founder of GetJanes, asked me if I wanted to do a giveaway for one of her comforting gowns this month, I decided that even though it’s the 27th, it’s never too late to recognize this important cause.
I interviewed Sharon in 2016 when she was building her business. It was nice to hear that her social entrepreneurial journey is prospering three years later.
Behind the creation of GetJanes gowns is a boomer woman
Sharon was inspired to create GetJanes after her mother and sisters battled through breast cancer diagnosis and treatments. Her experiences during those times gave her the chance to see many women waiting in their uncomfortable patient gowns for their exams or waiting for results. “Traditional patient gowns leave many women feeling cold, vulnerable and exposed,” says Sharon. “I had to find a solution — a better, more dignified patient gown for women.”
Thus, Janes were born!
As Sharon tells her story: “Over the next two years, I invested countless hours in the development of a new-and-improved johnny: one that would address my concerns about modesty, ease feelings of vulnerability, and foster more relaxed, confident communication between patient and doctor. I was lucky to receive input from many willing collaborators: my sisters (both breast cancer survivors), my friends, the health care professionals at our local Breast Health Center, many compassionate nurses, and a brilliant radiologist who generously shared with me her years of expertise. With their help, Janes™ were designed to offer comfort, warmth, and total coverage, while still providing access to health care providers for medical examinations and procedures.”
In 2012, she herself was diagnosed with uterine cancer. “During chemotherapy, radiation and following surgery, my Jane became my best friend,” says Sharon.
Today, Janes gowns are appreciated by women of all ages. Sharon has added a maternity and plus-size Janes to the line-up. And feedback continues to be positive with testimonials from women about how comforting the gowns made them feel during stressful medical procedures and afterwards at home during healing.
Fighting women’s cancer in the Delaware Valley
Today I attended the 10th annual Pink Roses Teal Magnolias Brunch. It is the largest breast and ovarian cancer fundraiser in the Delaware Valley. The funds raised support the exceptional and compassionate work of MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ.
It was my first time participating in this event. I was there to honor my late sister-in-law who passed away from ovarian cancer this July. She was a valiant warrior as she battled her illness. While it was sad to see her picture on the screen during the “We Remember with Love” ceremony, it felt good to hear from female survivors who shared their motivational stories. In addition, several of the oncologists were recognized as heroes for their efforts advocating for research, care, and as The Cooper Foundation says, “to find a cure for women’s cancer once and for all.” That day cannot come soon enough.
Make sure to schedule your annual mammogram
It’s also an appropriate time to encourage you, dear reader, to make your appointment (if you haven’t had one) for your yearly mammogram. Boomer women are often caregivers to others, yet when it comes to self-care they tend to let it fall to the bottom of the list. — and you know I’m focused on self-care these days. I did have my 3-D mammogram in June and thankfully it was clear.
While I manage through my issues with bladder cancer, though not a gynecological cancer (my bladder is pretty close to my gynecological parts), my senses are heightened to encourage women to treat your body like you would treat your best friend. Always advocate for and take care of your health, especially during your life after 50, 60, and beyond.
Ooh, ooh, ooh about that giveaway
If you want to enter the giveaway for a Janes gown, leave a comment below telling me that you had your annual mammogram in 2019 or that you have it on your schedule for the coming months. Note: You can enter via the Rafflecopter below too. P.S. – I’m hoping that everyone’s mammograms are clear this year and in future years. If not, my healing hugs, love and support are flowing your way.
For now, as we say at the end of yoga class:
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be peaceful.
And may you be well.