“When I was diagnosed in 1992, I thought having breast cancer was the worst thing that could happen to me, but it’s actually changed my life. It’s become a passion in my life,” says Sherrill Jackson, Founder and President of The Breakfast Club, Inc.
As a 20-year breast cancer survivor, Sherrill knows a thing or two about the joys and pains of living with the disease. Through her experience, she recognized a need for a breast cancer support group in the community. This inspired her to establish The Breakfast Club, a group of women dealing with breast cancer and coming together to lift up one another.
“Most of the women in our group are breast cancer survivors,” says Sherrill.
Komen St. Louis funding for The Breakfast Club’s E.A.R.S. (Education, Awareness, Resources, Support) program helps provide bras and breast prostheses. Women who have had mastectomies and who are uninsured or underinsured are sent to the Medical West Breast Prosthesis Center for fittings and provided with bras and prostheses. The program is helping to restore the self-esteem of many women who have undergone mastectomies. This is the 12th year of Komen St. Louis funding for this program.
“Many of the women are overwhelmed that they go there with no money and get professionally fit, and Komen funding provides that for them,” says Sherrill. “We get lots of letters and cards from the women who were helped, saying they have a new lease on life now.”
In 2012, Komen St. Louis granted nearly $3.1 million to 25 local breast health programs in our 17-county Missouri/Illinois service area, including The Breakfast Club’s E.A.R.S. program. These grants help fund breast health and breast cancer screening, treatment, education and support services for those in our community who otherwise may not have access due to low income, lack of insurance or other barriers.