by Monica Haro
Fact Checked by:
Jennifer Chesak, MSJ
by Monica Haro
Fact Checked by:
Jennifer Chesak, MSJ
Whether you’re looking for a gift that a loved one with breast cancer would appreciate or just want to support the breast cancer community, this gift guide is for you.
With the holiday season approaching, you may need gift ideas that people in the breast cancer community would actually like and find useful. Or maybe you’d just like to support the business of somebody who has received a breast cancer diagnosis.
If you’re looking for a gift that can help improve the quality of life of somebody with breast cancer, I’ve done some of the homework for you with this gift guide.
“Kimiko Does Cancer: A Graphic Memoir” is a cool graphic book by young, queer, and mixed-race author Kimiko Tobimatsu.
This is a great gift for fans of graphic novels, memoirs, or anyone who wants to read a story to learn more about what it’s like being young, queer, mixed-race, and diagnosed with breast cancer. Plus, I love the graphic illustrations by Keet Geniza!
Who doesn’t need a calendar to start off the new year? Breast cancer survivor Stori Nagel started the nonprofit Haus of Volta, where she creates pinup calendars that are focused on body positivity and highlighting the beautiful bodies of breast cancer.
Stori spends time with each pinup model, creating their look for the photoshoot and helping them find some measure of healing or empowerment in the process. I’ve already placed my order to give to some cancer besties in my life.
Did you know that breast implants often feel cold? I found that out with my first breast reconstruction with implants. Later, with my DIEP flap recon, I found I have some cold spots as well.
Brilliantly Warm founder Kristen created a solution after her own experience with a preventive mastectomy and implants. She has created rechargeable, portable, wearable warming pads you can control with smart technology. They’re even waterproof.
If your breast friend has shared any sexual health obstacles they’ve faced since their diagnosis with you, consider giving them the gift of pleasure.
A gift card to the Wild Flower online sex boutique just might be amazing and empowering for them. Sex-positive Wild Flower thoughtfully curates their product selection while being both modern and smart. They’re committed to using 100% body-safe materials as well. Lastly, they pride themselves on being a safe space for every racial and gender identity, body type, sexual experience level, and ability.
After her own breast cancer diagnosis, survivor Kelsey Bucci became interested in using cleaner, high quality natural beauty products. She founded Paris Laundry and did the research for us, curating a shop full of natural beauty products that have been closely examined to ensure safety.
One of these items is The Everywhere Oil, and from personal experience, it smells divine and feels indulgent. It’s great to use on scars from breast cancer surgeries and beyond.
Breast cancer survivor Keira Kotler started her intimate apparel company Everviolet after her own experience following breast cancer surgery. An Everviolet gift card can be helpful for the evolving needs of women whose bodies have undergone changes during breast cancer. You’ll find postsurgical bras and camis in a simple, chic, and femme aesthetic. Plus, I love that Everviolet has beautifully coordinated robes and panties to match their bras.
With breast cancer often comes a plethora of medications to take. Managing and remembering what to take and when to take it can be a pain.
I haven’t forgotten about the giant popcorn bowl where I used to keep all of my chemo and surgery meds. Sure, there are apps to keep track of meds, but that doesn’t work for everybody. Leeanna is a breast cancer survivor and founder of Tooktake, who realized this after her own experience with breast cancer. She designed labels that are a no-tech way to know if you took or need to take your medications or supplements.
Scarves For Healing is a small, Women of Color-owned business that makes turban-style, pre-tied scarf headwraps. If the breast friend in your life will be losing their hair due to chemo, these make a great gift.
Fussing with tying a scarf on a slippery-smooth bald head can be a pain, especially if you’ve undergone a mastectomy and experience discomfort and limitations with lifting your arms up like I did. These headwraps can take the work out of that task.
With Grace B. Bold founder Megan Grote was inspired by her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis. A fashion designer, she decided to make post-surgery, drain-accommodating clothing.
Lumpectomy, mastectomy, and breast reconstruction surgery often require you to have fluid-collecting drains attached to your body for days or weeks following surgery, which can be very cumbersome. I like to say they are a “pain in the drain.” Megan has made some elegant tops that accommodate drains with ease.
A beloved piece of art in my house is a print titled “Tatas” by artist Joan Pranata Bogart. Joan makes these hand-carved block prints with oil ink on sturdy printmaking paper. The design honors the many ages, stages, and sizes of survivors’ breasts. Joan created this print in response to her own breast cancer diagnosis in 2021.
The print is available in a notecard set as well. All proceeds are donated to the Camp Kesem — University of California, Santa Cruz chapter or the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Camp Kesem is a free camp supporting children through and beyond their parent’s cancer. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s mission is to prevent and cure breast cancer by funding cancer research worldwide.
“Igniting the Fire Within: Stories of Healing, Hope & Humor” is a book almost anyone diagnosed with breast cancer can love. It contains 50 stories from people below age 50 within the breast cancer community who share their beautifully vulnerable truths.
Choosing a gift for a friend or family member with breast cancer can be difficult. Items like headwraps, clothing to wear after surgery, inspiring books, and warming pads are all helpful gifts that can make life a little bit easier. Plus, you can support the business of someone else who has been affected by breast cancer.
Fact checked on December 13, 2022
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About the author
Monica was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area where she is raising her son. She loves staying connected to the breast cancer community through her work as the community guide for Bezzy BC, and as production assistant with Wildfire Magazine. After her cancer diagnosis, she has a passion for volunteering, and serves on the board of directors with her local support group, Bay Area Young Survivors. Monica loves creative expression through writing and art. She has shown her breast cancer advocacy exhibit “Reconstructed: A Breast Cancer Documentation Project” with El Comalito Collective in Vallejo, California several times over the years. You can connect with her on Instagram.