Support for mastectomy patients

A very personal outreach that can make a difference right away. We provide information and supplies to aid recovery, and also provide a resource for surgeons and nurses to improve communication with patients about the challenges of major surgery.

Group of women showing support for breast cancer

Make a Donation

Consider making a monetary donation or an item from our wish list.

Offering Women

Practical guidance and essential supplies to aid in their recovery.

For Caregivers

Information to help navigate a loved one through pre-surgical turmoil and the challenges of homecoming.

Surgeons & Nurses

A valuable tool to help prepare patients for major surgery.

Our Mission

Necessities BagNecessities of Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana is a program that supports breast cancer patients. It began in September of 2007 under the Associated Churches,  an affiliate to the national program  Necessities Bag, Inc. founded by Maureen Lutz in Ridgefield, CT (http://www.necessitiesbag.org/). It now has a new not-for-profit status and is called Hope in a Handbag. The mission of the project is to support mastectomy patients with a Necessities Bag which gives information and supplies to aid recovery, and also provide a resource for surgeons and nurses to improve communication with patients about the challenges of major surgery. The Necessities Bag is a reusable tote filled with bandages and essentials for wound care, hygiene and personal comfort. Included is the “Necessities Woman to Woman Guide to Prepare for Mastectomy” which offers practical information for women as well as their concerned caregivers to navigate pre-surgical turmoil and anticipate the challenges of homecoming.

Since the beginning, over 2000 bags have been distributed to women in Northeast Indiana. Necessities is very grateful to the Susan G. Komen For the Cure of Northern Indiana for a grant to help distribute the bags to all the rural areas and hospitals and surgeons in N.E. Indiana. Susan G. Komen has substantiated data that shows when a woman is facing breast cancer and surgery, the recovery is smoother with fewer complications when there is a support base from others who understand the process and procedures. The Necessities Bag can do this. They are distributed in a professional manner only through physicians, hospitals, and health care professionals with the well-being of the patient taken into consideration.

The Necessities Program is very thankful to the Fort Wayne area and local churches for the support of the project. Physicians, surgeons, and hospitals have been so supportive in assuring that no woman is forgotten. Their letters of support have been critical in the fundraising process. Churches have helped raise dollars and collected items that go into bags. They have listened to the stories of women who have received a bag and learned more of the risks and information to detect breast cancer in the earliest stage. A goal of the project is to do more educational speaking concerning cancer.