The HERS Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1998 to help fill a gap in the path to recovery for breast cancer survivors. HERS stands for Hope, Empowerment, Renewal and Support.
We are here to provide:
- HOPE to assist survivors in looking towards a more promising future.
- EMPOWERMENT to survivors while they adjust to the changes they experience as a result of a breast cancer diagnosis.
- RENEWAL to restore their self-image after often dramatic changes to their body.
- SUPPORT to hold them up on their journey to regain their confidence.
Our mission is to support all women healing from breast cancer by providing post-surgical products and services, regardless financial status.
Our Charitable Programs
We Support, YOU Survive
This program provides bras and prosthesis to underserved, underinsured and low income women in the San Francisco Bay Area. We primarily serve the clients insured by Medi-CAL, which accounts for people in the poverty level determined by the State of California. Recently, the demand for this program has increased and we evaluate each case individually to grant services.
- 500 clients have been served through this program since its inception in 2009.
- 62% have had a mastectomy.
- 32% are White, 30% Asian, 26% Hispanic and 12% Africa-American
After a woman survives breast cancer, she has won the fight of her life but also faces several more overwhelming hurdles. In addition to suffering the mutilation of surgery, many breast cancer survivors also deal with a condition known as lymphedema.
Lymphedema of the arm and chest is a side effect of breast cancer surgeries that can begin during or after treatment. It can occur in 30% of cases. This is not a life threatening condition, but it is one that can have a lasting, and dramatic effect on a woman’s body. This condition involves swelling of the soft tissues of the arm, hand or chest. The swelling may be accompanied by numbness, discomfort, and sometimes infection. Some women have mild lymphedema, which is hardly noticeable. Some develop moderate lymphedema that may be noticeable, tends to persist, and gets worse when aggravated. Others have severe lymphedema that is very uncomfortable and even disabling.
Compression garments are used to prevent this condition and can help restrict future growth of established lymphedema. Medicare does not cover these garments, and all other insurance companies have their own rules, with most insurers declining coverage for these garments.
We divide the clients in this program into two categories to receive garments at NO COST:
- Uninsured: These are clients with no insurance coverage at all for any product, as well as those who are covered through the Medi-CAL program.
- Underinsured: These are clients that have insurance coverage but their provider does not cover lymphedema garments.
- We have served over 900 clients with this program since inception in 2010.
- 70% of our clients with need for these garments are underinsured or uninsured and receive the garments at NO COST.
- 30% of our lymphedema clients received garments to contain the lymphedema and 70% received them as a preventative measure.
Hair With Care
The Hair with Care program is our newest program at HERS Breast Cancer Foundation. Women either beginning or ending their chemotherapy treatment can seek refuge and comfort in the program and regain the self-esteem that may have been lost as their hair thinned during their treatment.
Hair with Care provides women of all ages the opportunity to meet with a certified Cosmetologist in a supportive, caring, and understanding environment, where their needs and concerns come first. Helping women feel empowered and beautiful again is what the program strives for and delivers to each customer.
Losing one’s hair can be a difficult process and Hair with Care Cosmetologists are available help find the perfect wig for that special event or for everyday. They are there to hear a woman’s story, lend a shoulder to cry on when the stress of restoring or regaining her appearance seems overwhelming. They are also there to style, and assist in fitting and adjusting the wig for comfort. Cancer survivors must face the “mercy of the mirror” during and after their treatments, Hair with Care helps make this a supportive and empowering process.
Few insurance providers cover the cost of these products, however we have grant and other financial support from our Program Stores to provide funds to this program. Because of this, we can provide these products at NO COST to the uninsured/low income client.
- We have served over 250 clients with this program since inception in 2011.
- Wigs are not covered by most insurance providers.
- 40% of our clients have some insurance coverage for wigs.