news - North Andover Non - Profit Receives Grant for Hospital Garment

Contact: Maureen Cardinal, A Little Easier Recovery, (978) 689-9326 or



NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (July 29, 2008) – A Little Easier Recovery has received a grant from the Massachusetts affiliate of the breast cancer advocate organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.

A Little Easier Recovery is a non-profit organization whose mission is to make life easier for women dealing with breast cancer. With the help of their sponsors, the organization donates recovery jackets, in lieu of hospital gowns, directly to patients through Boston treatment centers.

Cathy McGrath, inventor of the Jacki and a volunteer at A Little Easier Recovery, survived breast cancer while raising three small children and undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

She named the garment the Jacki for the dreaded Johnny hospital gown and thought it would be a good name for a sophisticated alternative, sort of like what Jackie Kennedy or a celebrity might wear in the hospital.

"We all know that life does not stop with diagnosis," said McGrath. "The Jacki is so much more than a jacket and the women it helps are so much more than just patients."

A Little Easier Recovery has received many letters of thanks from patients. Program Director Maureen Cardinal says it is exciting to know that many more women will benefit through the generosity of the grant. "We are so thankful to be one of the recipients of a grant from Komen," said Cardinal.

The recovery jacket helps improve post-op mobility and range of motion, allows easy access to IV lines, blood pressure readings, tests and injections, all while keeping the patient warm and comfortable. Called the Jacki, the garment is functional with unique, incognito post-surgical features that empower women recovering from mastectomy and reconstruction, helping restore dignity, independence, and their ability to hold on to normal life.

The Jacki has been an incredibly effective tool for the hundreds of patients who have already received a Jacki free of charge at the discretion of their nurses and surgeons. Hospitals participating in the program include Brigham & Women's, Tuft's Medical Center and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

"Each and every patient who used this product found it to be a useful and comforting item when comfort is otherwise at a minimum, said Cate Mullen, Nurse Coordinator at the Breast Health Center at Tuft's Medical Center in Boston. "The long hours spent waiting in drafty rooms wearing only a thin hospital Johnny, can make patients feel even worse than they already do. It robs them of their dignity. I feel the Jacki needs to be a standard intervention in the care plan of patients undergoing surgery for breast cancer."

The Jacki program came to fruition with the help of Genentech, Inc., Windover, LLC, and Polartec®. A Little Easier Recovery is looking for new sponsors to help continue this unique program. For more information, visit

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