Drain Dollies & Charley Wood

I came across my fellow Spotlight Award winner, Charley, when I read about her recently and I thought I would share her story. When she was 17 she lost her Mum to Ovarian cancer. She decided to have the BCRA1 test & discovered she carried the mutated gene, this raised her risk of developing breast cancer by 85 per cent and ovarian cancer by 65%. In comparison to the general population who have a 12% chance of getting breast cancer less than 1% of ovarian cancer.

In July 2015 she had a preventative double mastectomy which has now taken her breast cancer risk down to below population risk. She started a blog after my double mastectomy which had over 45,000 views in the first week and Charley started to try and raise awareness. It was at this time, immediately after surgery that the idea of Drain Dollies came to her.

Charley said that “before I went in for my surgery I searched high and low for surgical drain bags. I knew I was going to be discharged from hospital with these drains, how was I to manage? I knew I was going to have drains in for at least 12 days and didn’t want to be house bound. Equally though I didn’t want to get funny looks in the street or feel embarrassed. Unfortunately hospitals do not readily give out things to contain the drains in for patients use and I saw ladies using plastic carrier bags and pillow cases. It is so inconvenient not having the use of your hands. There is no reason to be house bound after breast surgery by any means, these bags enable you to get out and about which will aid your recovery process”.

This is where her idea for Drain Dollies came from. She set about producing a bag especially designed to contain drains which is discreet and simple. They are made in lovely colours and prints to make you feel a little better when you might be needing a boost.

Drain Dollies are the ideal size to store drains and are made from a soft comforting fabric, perfect for patients post op. A donation from each Drain Dolly sold goes to Genesis who are working towards preventing breast cancer with their fantastic research.

When I saw a leopard print drain bag pop up on her Insta I had just designed my new “style-it-yourself” (as Amber Butchart of Great British Sewing Bee describes it!) leopard print turban & I thought – now that would be a great give away – one of her leopard print bags & one of my leopard print turbans. So I contacted Charley & we are doing it! Visit my Instagram to take part @chemoheadwear.