Lucy Gordon knew something must be done when she heard about mastectomy patients cutting up their husband’s old T-shirts and using the sleeves as pockets to hold their post-surgery drainage tubes. So Gordon, a breast cancer survivor, talked to her friends at Women Playing For T.I.M.E.™(WPFT), a grassroots breast cancer awareness group, and an idea was born. That idea was taken to local philanthropist Harriett Lake, who pledged $500,000 over five years.
In April 2006, they opened Harriett’s, a boutique inside the new Breast Care Center at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Designed to look like a retail store, Harriett’s features scarves, hats, postmastectomy camisoles, self-help books, and other items that carry no price tag.
Breast cancer patients treated through Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center receive a coupon to redeem for a complimentary item of their choice.
“Harriett’s was created for breast cancer patients because we understand how much their lives change at the moment of diagnosis and treatment,” says Elaine Lustig, WPFT co-founder. “By providing hard-to-find items we hope to alleviate some of the anxiety patients feel so they can concentrate on their treatment."
The History of Harriett’s: A Place for Breast Cancer Survivors
Harriett Lake, Central Florida’s well-known philanthropist, gifted Women Playing For T.I.M.E.® with a pledge over 5 years to fund Harriett’s. Space was designated to house Harriett’s in the newly renovated Breast Care Center. Funds to build out and furnish the room were used from that donation and a grand opening celebration was held on April 10, 2006 for the Breast Care Center and Harriett’s. Ten years later on February 27, 2016, Harriett’s opened in a new, larger, renovated space when the Breast Care Center was renovated with funds from WPFT and other generous Orlando Health Foundation donors.
The concept of Harriett’s is for any newly diagnosed breast cancer patient to receive a special coupon that allows them to choose an item at no cost to them. If they would like to have an additional item, they could make a suggested donation to help offset the costs and keep Harriett’s open for future breast cancer survivors. With the new renovated space, Harriett’s will now be able to offer breast cancer survivors the opportunity to be fitted for personal articles through various vendors for wigs and prosthetics. The availability of these items are subject to the individual vendors, but often are covered through insurance.
To contact the boutique, call 321-843-7208.