Cathy McGrath, Maureen Cardinal

Cathy McGrath, Maureen Cardinal

2012 Honoree

Advocates

Cathy McGrath, a breast cancer patient with three small children, was determined to ease the ordeal of treatment and recovery for herself and others.

Cathy designed a smart-looking jacket that builds in features to help manage and conceal post-surgical drains, streamline single-handed dressing, and lessen pain and discomfort. Cathy called the garment the “Jacki,” invoking the stylishness that “Jackie O” brought to daily life.

Cathy and her neighbor Maureen Cardinal created a nonprofit, “A Little Easier Recovery,” that produces and distributes the jacket through hospitals and breast health centers. Now 68 such facilities in 18 states are taking part, helping more than 6,000 patients and their families cope with the daily challenges of cancer treatment.

A grateful patient wrote, “Your gift of the Jacki has helped me go forward looking smart and feminine and feeling confident again.”

In no small way, the well-designed jacket enables patients to restore their independence and dignity.

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