CARY, NC (WNCN) — The fight against cancer is a battle in itself.
But navigating the necessary medical treatments and accessories that cancer patients need can be a whole other battle.
A local cancer survivor hopes to help.
At first glance, Jackie Cromity’s space on Kiesler Drive in Cary looks like a women’s boutique. It is filled with jewelry, handbags and scarves.
But that’s not what it seems.
“It’s not a beauty salon. It’s 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 realizing there was no place nearby she could go to get what she needed during and after treatment.
“I had to get prosthetics fitted,” she said. “When I got them, a few months later, I realized I could have had some that matched my skin color. There’s a lack of diversity in the products, there’s a lack of availability close to people and there is a lack of understanding of what is needed.”
She wanted to change that.
She opened “Survivor Friendly” locations in Cary, Durham, Raleigh, Winston-Salem and a few other locations across the state. Just to help women get what they need, while they fight for their lives.
“I couldn’t allow them to slip through the cracks,” Cromity said.
In the halls of its stores, women can get fitted with custom-made prostheses and specialized mastectomy bras. They can also choose 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” site have been trained and certified to accommodate medical devices.
The team also works with insurance companies, billing them directly, to help patients focus on their recovery.
Cromity wants to be an advocate for these women.
“Not just to educate them about what’s available to them, but also to educate insurance and the health care system,” she said.
She added that seeing women come in and get the help they need fuels her mission. Cromity hopes this is just the beginning.
“It allowed me to survive three episodes of very aggressive cancer,” she said. “That’s what these other women’s voices are for.”