Pink Ribbon Society Programs

Pink Ribbon Wig Reimbursement Program

wig pictire

In 2007, Pink Ribbon implemented our Wig Program to help underwrite the cost of prosthesis and wigs for the men and women in Lake, Porter, Jasper and Newton counties who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy or radiation treatment. This is a devastating issue for these men and women to endure during an already difficult time.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to find an insurance carrier that will underwrite the cost of a wig. They deem a wig as cosmetic and therefore don’t cover the cost. To date PRS has underwritten approximately $ 75,000 to help nearly 500 women maintain their dignity through this very difficult and stressful time.

The thank you notes we receive from the wig recipients make it all worthwhile. Their appreciation is payment enough.

St. Mary Medical Center – Pink Pockets Program And Mammogram Program

Pink Ribbon is pleased to have recently partnered with St. Mary Medical Center to help underwrite the cost of their Pink Pockets and Mammogram Program.

After a Patient has a Mastectomy the surgeon will place a surgical drain to collect their lymph fluid and these drains are in place for up to 10 days. They can be very cumbersome and uncomfortable, and we often find patients sometimes using a safety pin or tape to hold them in place. Before they leave the hospital we would like to provide the patient with Pink Pockets Mastectomy drain pouches. These are peel-and- stick pockets that the drains can be tucked into comfortably and discretely. This will ease the distress and improve quality of life for our breast cancer survivors.

In many cases, people find themselves struggling to pay for their diagnostic work-up, (additional mammogram imaging and/or breast ultrasound). As healthcare co-payments, co-insurance payments and deductibles rise, more patients are choosing not follow up with their recommended breast imaging. These are the patients who do not qualify for IBCAT (Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust) or BCCP (Breast Cervical Cancer Program) funding. Setting up a specific fund to help cover the costs for these women would be beneficial and increase the likelihood of needed follow-up exams, thus eliminating their financial barrier.

Methodist Hospital Foundation

Pink Ribbon Society is very proud to have been a contributor to the Methodist Hospitals Foundation, Krewe Athena. To date we have contributed $11,500 to help underwrite the cost of diagnostic mammograms for women who have received questionable screening mammograms and need additional testing to rule out breast cancer. These follow-up mammograms may very well save a life.

American Cancer Society (ACS)

Pink Ribbon Society has supported the American Cancer Society in numerous ways since our inception, including sponsoring their Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks in both Merrillville and Valparaiso. These walks are inspiring opportunities to unite as a community to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about steps we can take to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer and help the American Cancer Society fight the disease with cancer research, information and educational services.

To date, Pink Ribbon Society has contributed nearly $58,000 to the American Cancer Society in support of various ACS programs and services.

Bundles Of Hope

bundles of hope

Our Bundles of Hope program is designed to reach out to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. Often times, when a patient sits in a chair for sometimes several hours to receive their chemo treatment, it is not uncommon for them to become chilled. The Bundles of Hope program was designed to provide them with warmth and comfort.

Pink Ribbon distributes the beautiful pink reusable bags to any and all oncology offices in Lake, Porter, Jasper and Newton Counties in Northwest Indiana wishing to participate in the program. They are intended for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients when they arrive for their first treatment following their diagnosis.

The bag contains a beautifully monogrammed warm fleece blanket, a beautiful handmade soft heart shaped pillow, as well as a note of encouragement from the Pink Ribbon Society and information from the American Cancer Society to help them along during this difficult time. The bags make it convenient for patients to carry reading materials, water, snacks, and of course, their very own warm blanket to each visit.

The beautiful heart shaped pillows were made for Pink Ribbon by the GFWC Women’s Club of St. John. They are stuffed with soft fillers so that when placed under the surgical arm they provide pain and pressure relief.

Indiana Women In Need (IWN)

iwin logo

Since 2011, Pink Ribbon Society has granted $50,000 to help Indiana women who have had breast cancer surgery and are currently in treatment.

IWIN provides a variety of prepaid certificates, offers a variety of prepaid service vouchers for recipients that can include, but are not limited to, childcare, housekeeping, lawn services, massage therapy and transportation costs.

Jasper County YWCA

To date, Pink Ribbon has contributed $1,500 to the YWCA Women’s Cancer Program for screening and diagnostic mammography and ultrasound breast programs.

Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP)

Since our inception, Pink Ribbon Society has supported the State of Indiana’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. BCCP helps to underwrite the cost of mammograms for those who are uninsured, underinsured, or who do not have the means to pay for the life saving screening.

To date Pink Ribbon has underwritten mammograms at a cost of over $100,000 for over 1,550 women in the Lake, Porter, Jasper and Newton Counties.

Pink Compression Program

Pink Ribbon Society is so dedicated to helping the men and women in our community whose lives have been touched by breast cancer.

We are always trying to find another way to help during the difficult weeks and months following a mastectomy.  These are very difficult times…this woman’s world has just been turned upside down.  She has so many worries and fears and we want to do what we can to help alleviate some of these immediate concerns.

Along with the many other programs and services we provide for these patients, we have started a new program at Pink Ribbon…it is our Pink Compression Program.

Many women suffer with lymphedema following a mastectomy. Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms following a  mastectomy.  In case of a double mastectomy, it could be both arms.

Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment. It results from a blockage in your lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and the fluid buildup leads to swelling.

There’s no cure for lymphedema. But it can be managed with early diagnosis and diligent care of your affected limb.

Compression sleeves and garments are designed to do just what their name suggests: apply pressure to the arm to keep lymph fluids moving in the right direction.

Research studies have not yet looked at the effectiveness of compression sleeves “alone” in treating lymphedema. However, experts have found them to be effective as part of the overall treatment plan.

Most insurance plans DO NOT cover the cost of compressions sleeves.  You can ask your therapist or garment fitter about other patients’ experiences with insurance coverage.  However, you are primarily looking at a cost ranging from $ 50 to $ 300 and possibly more for a custom sleeve if your physician feels one is required.

There are many different kinds of compression sleeves.  Your doctor will determine which is best for you based on your needs.  It is best to purchase your sleeve from a reputable fitter or a medical supply company who can do a fitting.

An improperly fitted sleeve can make lymphedema worse by placing too much or too little pressure on certain areas of the limb,  which can cause fluid backup to worsen. In some cases, your lymphedema therapist may do the fitting, in others, the medical supply company’s fitter will. He or she will take measurements of the arm, hand, chest, or other area to select the right sleeve for you, or order a custom garment.

Pink Ribbon wants to help with this problem.  We have currently contacted to companies in the area where you can both get fitted and purchase a sleeve.

Pink Ribbon will underwrite up to $ 75 for the first compression sleeve you purchase.   Any balance would be your out of pocket.  However, if you have an insurance carrier who will cover the cost, work with them first and if there is a balance Pink Ribbon will reimburse you up to       $ 75.

We have been advised that a compression sleeve can last from 6 months to a year, depending on how well you take care of it, i.e. washing, laying flat to dry, not wearing it to sleep, etc.  Again, talk to your fitter about care of the product.

Unfortunately, we can only help to underwrite your first sleeve.  But this will give you an opportunity to get your sleeve and see how well it works for you.

For styles, sizes and fittings, please contact Tammy at Isabella Boutique by Gil Pharmacy, 58 Lincolnway,  Valparaiso, IN  46383, 219 462 2822 or Judy at Slattery’s Health, 2030 45th St Highland, IN 46322, 219 836 1808 for more information on how to get fitted and purchase your compression sleeve.

Pink Pockets

Pink Pockets

In June 2018, Pink Ribbon Society began distributing Pink Pockets to local hospitals to be given to patients undergoing lumpectomies and mastectomies.

When a breast cancer patient leaves the hospital following one of these procedures, they are usually sent home with drains to catch the fluid from the surgical site. Drains are an inconvenience, but necessary for healing following the surgery. Surgical drains can be in for a few days up to a few weeks.

Pink Pockets are an adhesive pocket that can be secured to the inside of a blouse, pajama top, shirt or pants being worn by the patient. Pink Pockets provide immediate comfort – no safety pins or sewing required and can be removed and washed if needed. No need for expensive post-surgery garments and can be positioned anywhere on the garment.
Surgical drains are fitted with bulbs at the end of each drain that collects necessary fluids. The pockets then hold the bulbs in place so that they do not interfere with the patient’s normal activates. The bulbs can be emptied when necessary and reattached to the drains for continued use.

To date, Pink Pockets have been distributed to Community Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital and St. Catherine’s Hospital.

Compression Sleeve Program

Another service that has been implemented in June 2018 was our new compression sleeve program. Many women suffered from lymphedema following breast surgery or radiation therapy that can affect the hand, arm, underarm, chest, and upper back (above the rib cage). Gradually, lymph builds up and the lymphatic system gets overwhelmed, resulting in swelling, discomfort, and other symptoms. In cases of a double mastectomy, could affect both arms.

Lymphedema can occur when lymph nodes have been removed or damaged as a result of the surgery or radiation therapy. There is no cure for lymphedema – it is a lifelong disorder and doesn’t always occur immediately following the surgery. Lymphedema can occur years after the original surgery.

Pink Ribbon will reimburse a breast cancer patient up to $ 75 for their first compression sleeve.