Cancer survivor creates lumpy pillows to highlight importance of early detection

It’s a pillow.

A lumpy pillow in fact.

And that’s how it’s meant to be.

“It’s beautiful and its imperfect and it’s dear,” said creator Devonna Gaglardi.

But there is meaning behind her plush pillow creation.

“It’s meant to soothe some of those terrifying emotions and dark narrative around a lump diagnosis,” said Gaglardi, founder of the LUMP Foundation.

“And it may look something like a breast,” she added with a laugh.

At the age of 37, Gaglardi was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I was terrified,” explained the mother of two.

“When you get a cancer diagnosis, you assume that you are not going to make it and uh, my kids were so young, they probably wouldn’t have remembered me,” said an emotional Gaglardi.

She faced six weeks of radiation as well as a lumpectomy.

“I was quickly shuffled into the arms of angels at Inspire Health,” she said.

Inspire Health is a supportive cancer care organization, offering free assistance to patients. 

“About 50 per cent of the patients we see at Inspire Health are breast cancer patients,” said Loveena Chera, CEO of Inspire Health Supportive Cancer Care.

“One in eight women are expected to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer in their life time so early detection is incredibly important.”

Gaglardi, who is now in remission, said she hasn’t forgotten what she went through and the support she received from Inspire Health.

“I knew coming from that experience that I had to give back.”

And she gave back with pillows.

Profits from LUMP pillows help fund services at Inspire Health. But they also are designed in a shape she hopes will remind women to check themselves for lumps.

The pillows come in two colors, but the blush was specifically designed for Mother’s Day and is only available until then.

“On my first day of radiation, there was a mom holding her two year old’s hand who had lost her hair. And it’s a tangible reminder of celebrating our mom’s this Mother’s Day,”

So the pillow push is on with a message this Mother’s day reminding women about the lifesaving importance of early breast cancer detection.

“The best thing that a woman can do this Mother’s Day is self examinations, get screened and really take care of yourself. Put yourself first,” Chera said.