ShopWellWithYou.com: Personal Shopping Service for Women with Cancer
It was the second time in three years that I had gone
shopping with my mother for clothes since she had been diagnosed. She had just
had surgery for breast cancer three weeks prior. My mother and I were looking
for clothing that was not an obstacle (not something to struggle into) but instead
something she could easily wear that was comfortable and attractive.
Out of our search, an idea began to form in my head. I wanted to use clothing
to help my mother feel better about herself to improve her overall wellness.
Based upon this desire, the concept behind Shop Well with You took shape.
I had observed the impact of medication, radiation,
and chemotherapy treatments upon my mother. Over three episodes of breast cancer
and one episode of thyroid cancer, she gained and lost weight, lost her hair
and wore a wig and hats and developed an ashen complexion. Clothing did not
fit her as a result of her many operations. I watched her struggle to find
a wig that didn't look fake, buy makeup for her sallow complexion and find clothes
that were comfortable yet stylish.
My mother is a "hip" and energetic woman and she refused to sacrifice
that because of her illness. When she did put herself together in the morning,
her overall disposition improved. I spoke to my mother as well as other women
in the cancer community and they all voiced a need for an individualized service
that gave them tools to improve their appearance.
Located in New York City, this not-for-profit organization is a free, individualized
service that matches a specially trained personal shopper with a client from
hospitals and support organizations to identify clothing appropriate to her
needs at a retail store of the woman's choice. Using clothing as a means towards
individual empowerment and healing, Shop Well with You is a wellness
program that gives each woman the tools to boost morale and self-confidence
which may have been affected due to the changes to her body as a result of cancer
and its treatments.
For example, a woman may be looking for a shirt that buttons down the front
or back since a mastectomy has limited her arm's mobility, or a woman wearing
a colostomy bag for colon or ovarian cancer may need pants or a skirt that will
discreetly hide the medical apparatus. Shop Well with You will provide
clothing solutions by acknowledging that appearance can have significant and
positive effects on treating cancer.
Shop Well with You is affiliated with retail stores of varying price
ranges including but not limited to Eileen Fisher, Kenneth Cole, the Limited
Stores, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Hospitals and support groups such as Columbia
Presbyterian Medical Center, Mount Sinai, Cancer Care and SHARE refer clients
to Shop Well with You..
I am proud of Shop Well with You's progress thus
far. I have forged many exciting relationships this year with participating
organizations and companies and I have an enthusiastic team of Shop Well
with You volunteer personal shoppers. So what's my biggest challenge right
now? It's definitely spreading the word about this program to the women who
can benefit from this service. If you or anyone you know would be interesting
in participating in Shop Well with You's program, please contact us!
To become a client, participate as a volunteer, or request additional information,
call (212) 966-2500 x339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Created: 11/23/2002  - Emily Spivack