By Foresee Foundation
What does your organization do and who is your target group?
ProudBreast in collaboration with Positive and Elektralyets Foundations is happy to bring to St. Maarten a unique combination of community, product development and sales in the area of external breast prosthesis. In 2019, they launched the Qup, the first external breast prosthesis that has been developed entirely for comfort. The impact was enormous. The Qup has positively changed the lives of more than 5,000 women. It is a socially conscious enterprise.
Clary Scheres, director of ProudBreast, is an impact entrepreneur and designer at heart. Together with product designer and experience expert Suzanne Kemps (48), she founded ProudBreast – an impact platform for women with one or no breasts. Clary is the solo director of ProudBreast since January 1, 2020, as Suzanne sadly succumbed to breast cancer.
The ProudBreast mission is to empower, connect and inspire women without breasts worldwide to live carefree lives. Qups – the comfortable, feminine alternative for the traditional silicone prosthesis – are made by women for women.
Brand Ambassador Simone van Dijk this year introduced the Qups in the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom. Simone’s mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, prefers a comfortable, light breast prosthesis and is very happy using the Qups – and that’s how Simone became involved.
How does your organization contribute to a better St. Maarten for all?
Women diagnosed with breast cancer are informed about breast prostheses by the mama-care clinic of Sint Maarten Medical Center. The traditional silicone breast prostheses are usually recommended. The prostheses have always been a challenge to acquire on St. Maarten. Most recently, the last company where one could purchase breast prostheses closed its doors, causing women in need of prostheses to knock on the door of Positive and Elektralyets foundations. The foundations started researching options to help women and learned of ProudBreast from Simone.
Compared to the more traditional silicone prostheses, the Qups are lightweight, comfortable and non-sweaty. They are perfect for women living in tropical weather conditions. As of this month (October 2022), Positive and Elektralyets foundations will launch ProudBreast and open a fitting centre at White Yellow Cross Care Foundation on Sint Maarten. In this fitting centre, women can see, feel and try ProudBreast prostheses in a private setting with an experienced and trained professional. The foundations also intend to donate ProudBreast Qups to uninsured women who may need prosthesis but are not able to afford it.
Give examples of activities you usually host or have hosted to achieve your organization's goals?
Women diagnosed with breast cancer often get the “silent treatment” by family or friends, because talking about their experiences is unwelcome. Worldwide, one out of seven women is diagnosed with breast cancer. Women need to share their stories and talk about the importance of regular screening and prevention. We offer our website (www.proudbreast.com) with blogs by women from all over the world sharing their experiences online. We host private events for women without breasts, like our Ladies Info Night, where women are able share information about topics related to breast cancer and lifestyle. Nurses of White Yellow Cross Care Foundation will be trained.
What message would you like to send out to the community to support your group's goals?
Positivity and turning a painful process into strength are what define ProudBreast. This is what we pass on because we’ve been through the pain. So please share your story and talk about regular screening.
How can someone sign up to volunteer or support your organization?
If you would like to become a volunteer, you can send an email to Positive Foundation. Women who would like to contribute by becoming a Brand Ambassador, Fitting Center Professional or host for a private ProudBreast event are welcome.