The Necessities Bag was created for mastectomy patients by a breast cancer survivor. It contains practical information and post-op supplies for wound care, personal comfort, and hygiene. The Necessities Woman to Woman Guide to Prepare for Mastectomy discusses how to get ready for the surgery including such seemingly insignificant details, like packing for the hospital, which can often cause anxious moments. It offers suggestions for the patient and their caregiver about managing recovery at home, and explains the practical reason for every item in the bag. Women are given their bag before surgery by their surgeon or nurse at a breast center , medical office, or hospital.

How to obtain a Necessities Bag

If you are requesting a bag for yourself Necessities Bags are for mastectomy patients only and have the most impact if they are obtained before surgery. If you do not live in a community where Necessities is active, contact Necessities directly – Email:

If you are requesting a bag for a loved one or friend Necessities Bags can be sponsored with a donation of $50 (plus shipping if necessary.) If Necessities is not active in your community, contact Necessities directly through Email:

Donations can be made through this website or mailed directly to Necessities: P.O. Box 11, Ridgefield, CT 06877.

Surgeons and Nurses

You understand the importance of helping your patients manage emotional distress and practical difficulties associated with recovery from major surgery. The Necessities Bag helps women feel more in control of their own personal care and comfort.

If you are interested in starting an independently funded Necessities Affiliate, contact Necessities for more information. There is no fee to be a Necessities affiliate, only an agreement to adhere to the trademarked contents and general look of the bag. Email:

You Can Help

Necessities is an all-volunteer organization. Individuals, community or church groups who would like to get involved with existing programs can organize supply donations, bag assembly, delivery of bags to surgeons or hospitals, pillow sewing and other important tasks.

If you want to start a local affiliate, it will require the cooperation of the medical community as well as the ability to provide funding to support the program, and volunteers to assemble bags and deliver them to medical offices. Contact Necessities for more information. Email:

With Gratitude

Beth C. Tortolani Foundation Manhasset, NY

How Necessities Bags are Funded

Necessities, Inc. is an all-volunteer organization that depends on the generosity of individuals, foundations, corporations, businesses and hundreds of wonderful people who donate supplies, sew comfort pillows, assemble bags, make deliveries and provide continuous encouragement and support for the mission. Necessities, Inc. is a 50lc(3) charitable organization and qualifies for corporate matching gifts.

ABOUT THE FOUNDER Maureen Lutz of Ridgefield, Connecticut, was 57 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After two lumpectomies, she underwent a mastectomy of her right breast and tram flap reconstruction in March 2005. Her recovery was challenging and during that time, she kept notes on how she might have been better… More »

Maureen Lutz on The View In 2007, The Ford Motor Company partnered with the ABC Television show The View to recognize persons who made an extraordinary effort to help women battling breast cancer. As part of the Ford Warriors in Pink Campaign, Maureen Lutz was named the first “Warrior of the Week” and appeared on… More »

Diamonds in the Snow: Rescuing the Senses in the Aftermath of Breast Cancer Author, Maureen Hogan Lutz, Survivor and Founder of Necessities, tackled the challenges of her own recovery by examining how her five senses were negatively affected by the cancer experience and taking positive steps toward rejuvenation.   Ann’s Place is a compassionate… More »