ASHBURN, Va. — One month after her wedding day in 2002, Carolyn Rodenburg received a life-changing diagnosis. She just had her first-ever mammogram at 42 years old. Doctors told her she had breast cancer.
"I didn’t have any idea that was going to happen. They told me if I had waited, the tumor would have been too big and I wouldn’t have been here today," said Rodenburg.
A few years after that diagnosis, she knew she wanted to help others in the same situation. Rodenburg and her girlfriends created the IIIB's Foundation. Since then, they have handed out thousands of bright pink comfort baskets. They call them the "Bosom Buddy Baskets."
The baskets have comfort items for patients going through breast cancer, especially mastectomy patients.
"You didn't know you needed these things until you need them," said Rodenburg.
At the time, she was going through breast cancer, she said there were so many organizations pushing for a cure, but none to support women dealing with cancer at that moment.
"There was no comfort or recovering items for the women going through it right now. They need comfort, they need recovery, said Rodenburg.
Inside those 'Bosom Buddy Baskets' are three pink candles. The hope is that women will hand them out to their girlfriends or family members as a reminder to get their mammograms every year.
"Take the pink candles, put it on your birthday cake and go get a mammogram. Give the best present you can possibly give to anybody that loves you," said Rodenburg.
For every $150 donated in October, a Bosom Buddy Basket filled with comfort items will be sent to a local Breast Cancer Patient who must go through a mastectomy.
Donations can be made here: https://www.keepthecandleglowing.org/wusa9/
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