‘Valeda’s Hope’ giving recliners to cancer survivors

ST. LOUIS, MO — From mammogram to survivor status, Valeda's Hope is there for all women.

Hope is what powers the journey for breast cancer survivors like Gretchen Smith.  Doctors told her she had cancer exactly one year ago this month.

“It hit like a ton of bricks.  It really did.  It buckled my knees. I could not believe it," said Smith.

Two days before Smith had a double mastectomy she called Valeda Keys, the founder of Valeda’s Hope.

After sleeping in a recliner for two and half years after seven surgeries Valeda wanted to give recliners away to women that undergo a double mastectomy. She and her husband delivered Gretchen’s recliner the day she was discharged from the hospital.  They are on track to deliver 24 recliners this year.

“It was like help had arrived.  Like some help is here for me.  She came with some wonderful gifts.  Some comfort gifts.  She came with a beautiful blanket, "said Smith.

Demand could increase for Valeda, given that every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, with surgery being the only option for some.

“When you lose your breast, you lose upper body strength. It is new.  It takes some adjustment”, said Valeda.

Understanding cancer risks and the importance of early detection can save your life. Valeda's Hope is preparing for its 6th Annual Pink and Pearls Luncheon and Conference to increase awareness, and bring top physicians to give the latest on research.

The 6th Annual Pink and Pearls Luncheon and Conference presented by Valeda's Hope Saturday Oct. 21 at Frontenac Hilton.

For more information visit http://www.valedashope.org/