Women Make "Knitted Knockers" to Help Breast Cancer Survivors

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in the United States. For many, getting a mastectomy is the path to survival. Two local women are trying to make life after a mastectomy a little easier for breast cancer survivors.

For Laura Kolarik and Darlene Espinosa, their knitting hobby has turned into something much bigger. Together they knit "Knitted Knockers." 

A Knitted Knocker is a prosthetic that women can insert into their bra after a mastectomy. 

"It's washable, it's squishy, you can sweat in it, you can swim in it, and all we hear from the women who wear them is they adore them, they are much preferable to the heavy silicon one," said Laura Kolarik. 

Laura and Darlene are volunteers in the international organization called Knitted Knockers. Together they form the Panhandle Knockers. They buy all their supplies on their own.

"It takes about two hours to make one. They are great little projects because they are quick, they are easy, and they are portable," said Kolarik. 

They are one of five distributors in Florida and they send out about 20 knockers per week for free to breast cancer survivors. Shortly after getting involved in March, Espinosa's mother was diagnosed which only motivated them to make more.

"My mother was very, very upset about even the possibility of losing her breasts and she would have used these in a heartbeat," said Espinosa. 

But more than anything they do it to support other women.

"That's really important to me to stick together and be part of the sisterhood," said Kolarik. 

Anyone can download the pattern and instructions online and knit their own to be distributed.  

For more information about how to get involved or request a free knocker, visit: https://www.knittedknockers.org/

To get in contact with the local group email: panhandleknockers@gmail.com

Visit them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PanhandleKnockers/

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