This year 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. more than 40,000 women are expected to die of the disease. As Houston Public Radio’s Laurie Johnson reports, may of those women have a short time left and want an opportunity to make the last few months more meaningful.
The National Cancer Institute estimates there are 2.3 million women in the U.S. who have a history of breast cancer. Thousands are diagnosed with stage four cancer which means there is no cure and no hope of recovery. Dee Appel has stage four breast cancer. She is also director of the Southern Division of Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation. She says the foundation seeks to grant wishes to women who are dying of breast cancer.
“We get a lot of young mothers who have exhausted their resources trying to fight the disease and we get requests to go to Disneyland and Disneyworld. We often grant requests for second honeymoons.”
Women in the U.S. have a one in eight lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. Making Memories pays for the wishes of dying women through the sales of wedding dresses. Bridal shops, designers and individual women donate new and used dresses to the organization. The gowns are then resold for anywhere from $50 to $599. Jennifer Nazarian is Dee Appel’s daughter and also works for the foundation.
“We know when we see the gowns come through the door, we don’t just see a sale, we see somebody’s last vacation or video camera or moment with their family. That’s what we see.”
Making Memories is holding a wedding gown sale this week at Shirley Acres Events in North Houston. They hope to raise thousands of dollars to grant the final wishes of women on their waiting list. The sale runs from 10a.m. to 9p.m. on Thursday and from 10a.m. to 6p.m. on Friday. Shirley Acres is located at 217 Woerner Road off of Kuykendahl. The sale is free and open to the public.