During their auxiliary’s annual meeting the public was let in on a new service that will be available to patients, Feb. 13.

Just the week prior to the meeting, the hospital received their first box of knitted knockers, stitched or crocheted alternatives to prosthetic breasts.

Meg Welter said, as a breast cancer survivor, the new options were better than the old alternative. A girl friend of hers gave her a pair after hearing her complaints about how heavy and uncomfortable the prosthetics were and how unbearable they could get during the summer. Welter passed around an examples of each, encouraging those in the crowd to see how worn the prosthetics that were just 10 years old.

Welter said a lot of different things go through a person’s mind when they have to confront the possibility of having a breast removed and how they are going to deal with it.

“It is a wonderful thing,” she said of knitted knockers. “It’s been a life-saver for me.”

Jones Regional Medical Center Mammographer Andrea Kelley said, in addition to some of the other challenges, the prostheses can also cause irritation for certain people. The knitted knockers can be swam with and be adjusted as needed with stuffing.

“They’ve researched all of this, just so it’s so comfortable for them,” Kelley said.

Kelley has been working with the knitted knockers during her time at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids and was overjoyed to be able to bring them to Anamosa.

“Just to be able to offer these to people at Jones Regional is so exciting,” she said. “I gave away my first pair this morning…She was so thankful.”

The knockers are provided for free for those who need them and, while Kelley said Knitted Knockers have a network of people that can send knockers for patients locally to use, they like having the support of the local community. The website,, includes free patterns and videos on how to make knitted knockers. The patterns have been downloaded over 1 million times and the organization has groups in all 50 states and 30 countries around the world.

The hospital is still working on coordinating efforts to produce the knitted knockers.

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