Generous donation improves life for breast cancer patients


Sherry Palmer, left, of Breast Friends of Florida receives a donation from Kevin Barrett and Bryan Franz of Arnold Air. Photo courtesy of Arnold Air

Sometimes when there’s a need, there’s a helpful company willing to step up to meet that need.

In this case, the charity looking for help was Breast Friends of Florida, established in 2009 to provide bags of information and specialized items for breast cancer victims. The national organization was formed in Oregon in 2000.

Helping fill the need — in this case, special wedge incline pillows for post-operative comfort after a mastectomy — was a $2,500 donation from Arnold Air Conditioning Inc. of Sebastian and Palm Bay.

Breast Friends of Florida director Sherry Palmer is one of the two breast cancer survivors who helped form the group. Now seven years cancer-free, Palmer knows what is needed after the often devastating diagnosis of breast cancer.

“We have given over 1,500 bags and that’s conservative. They don’t know what they need because they haven’t had breast cancer before. It’s not a death sentence like it used to be and we have awesome support groups,” Palmer said.

The incline pillows cost about $25 and will be provided to any Brevard County patient for free.

“The inclination, when you go home, helps with the swelling and drainage. It’s huge. These pillows are going to help these gals with any breast surgery,” she said.

The donation “is probably going to keep us in pillows for two years.”

“We do a lot of charitable contributions like that. It was referred to us. We wanted to make sure all the money stayed local in the community that we serve,” Arnold Air owner and president Kevin Barrett said.

The money, the largest amount ever given by the company, represented $50 for each unit installed with a set minimum of $2,500.

“We get a lot back from the community. I understand any amount is appreciated but we wanted to make a real difference. The [pillows] are desperately needed,” he said.

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