Sheila Surber and her daughter Amanda Watson are starting a new chapter in their lives. They've opened a boutique in Panama City that caters to cancer patients. It's called "There's No Place Like Hope."
"A cancer patient or someone who has a grave illness like that, that's what they have is hope and if they don't have that then there's not much reason for trying to survive.”
Surber knows because she's been there. She underwent a mastectomy back in 2002. She believes every woman deserves the chance to look their best, even if they've lost their breasts and hair to cancer.
She says when she tried to buy those things that could help her feel better, she ended up feeling humiliated.
"I went to a particular shop and I was given a box of bras to go through up on a counter in front of everybody and it was a very humiliating experience and they were very ugly bras, too."
Amanda Watson, co-owner, said, "I went with her for her many trips to go get wigs, bras, prosthesis and saw what she experienced and what she went through, the emotional struggle she had."
"It was very humiliating with men and women walking around me looking at nice lingerie and things and here I am being punished because I had cancer."
That experience led Surber to find a way to help others in her shoes. She quit her job of 17 years and along with her daughter opened up a mastectomy and cancer boutique that gives cancer patients a private place to find what they need.
"When they come in they don't necessarily feel very good about themselves, they're here not just to buy products but they really need somebody to tell them. You know you really do look good and you're gonna be okay."
"Some walk in a little slumped over and don't really connect with you right in the eyes and when they leave you can tell shoulders back, they feel better."
Suber and Watson say that's because what they offer is more than just pretty lingerie.
"As soon as my mother tells them what's she's been through, it's like Oh you get it, they share their story my mom shares hers, they have a bond, a connection, I don't think anyone else would get unless they've been through it."
"Cancer does not have to be a bad thing. It's really a bump in the road; it's part of the journey and you can get over it."
If you'd like to know more about "There's No Place Like Hope" you can call them at 215-HOPE (4673) or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOPE IS OFFERING:
Free Breast Form Checks
Mastectomy Bra Fittings
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