Community Corner: A Mother-Daughter Breast Cancer Boutique

By Dianne Bal

The first impression you get when you walk in the door of Suzanne's Breast Care Boutique is one of home, comfort and relaxation. The next is that the selection of products is fashionable, many sizes are available and items ranging from bathing suits to wigs are displayed in a fun way.

Arline and Suzanne Schwechter are a Mother/Daughter team and committed to each and every client they serve. Arline is an Occupational Therapist with 38 years of experience. Suzanne is currently attending Columbia University and pursuing her MPH. Both ladies are Certified Fitters and in addition to the exam these ladies learned from 500 hours of hands on experience with breastcarebotiqueclients, ensuring that all of the bras, prosthetics and any other products necessary from the time of diagnosis to after surgery is comfortable, well fitting and meets all of needs of the woman.

After leaving their Boutique, the respect they both have for the women they serve had a lasting impression on me. Details from the covers over the mirrors (until she is ready to look in the fitting rooms), to the coffee they offer are what shows the importance of how important the client's feelings are. They both "love to shop" and agree that "the experience a woman has is most important, we want to be the Nordstrom's of Surgical Supplies"! They have a reputation in the community and are meticulous in stocking only quality/compliant items. "Every woman is entitled to the items we stock and much of it is covered by insurance" says Arline and both agree that they see themselves as a resource for hospitals and Drs. Offices in the tri-state area.

These ladies are ensuring that women with a breast cancer diagnosis "don't experience that disconnect" when dealing with their doctor. Arline and Suzanne created a form that the doctor can provide that shows items a woman needs before and after her surgery. "It is much like a prescription that she gets along with everything else" says Suzanne, "these women are so overwhelmed that it just makes it easier when she comes to us". Suzanne and Arline have been involved in the Avon Walks, the Komen Walks and also support Gilda's Club. They are committed to making sure that every woman has access to products and that they also have the best experience during the most challenging time of their life.