CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — Fighting cancer is a battle in itself.
But navigating the treatments and the accompanying necessary medical accessories cancer patients need, can be a whole different fight.
One local cancer survivor is hoping to help.
At first glance, Jackie Cromity’s space on Kiesler Drive in Cary looks like a women’s boutique. It’s filled with jewelry, handbags and scarves.
But it’s not what it seems.
“This is not a beauty shop. This is a medical facility, and we work with oncologists and doctors,” Cromity said.
Cromity is a three-time breast cancer survivor.
She created “Survivor Friendly” after she realized there wasn’t a place nearby where she could go, to get what she needed during and after treatment.
“I had to get protheses,” she said. “When I got them, a couple of months later, I realized I could have gotten ones that matched my skin color. There’s a lack of diversity in product, there’s a lack of availability in close proximity to people, and there’s a lack of understanding about what’s needed.”
She wanted to change that.
She opened locations of “Survivor Friendly” in Cary, Durham, Raleigh, Winston-Salem and a few other places across the state. Just to help women get what they needed, while they fight for their lives.
“I could not allow them to fall through the cracks,” Cromity said.
In the rooms of her stores, women can get fitted for custom prostheses and specialty mastectomy bras. They can also pick out wigs that suit their style, and even choose temporary eyebrow tattoos to help them feel more like themselves during Chemotherapy.
Staff members at each “Survivor Friendly” location have been trained and certified to fit medical devices.
The team also works with insurance, billing them directly, to help patients focus on recovery.
Cromity wants to be an advocate for these women.
“Not only to educate them on what’s available to them, but also educating insurance and the health care system,” she said.
She added that watching women come in and get the help they need, fuels her mission. Cromity hopes it’s just the start.
“It allowed me to survive three episodes of very aggressive cancer,” she said. “That’s the reason to be the voice for these other women.”