Store benefits breast cancer patients

Thrift shops are nothing new. You can drop off a donation. Or get a great deal on a new dress. And that's it, but at a big thrift shop in Mechanicsburg, there is more to the story.

“We're probably the best kept secret on the West Shore”, said owner Brian Gaughan of Pink Hands of Hope.

It is easy to spot pink hands of hope while driving by on Trindle Road in Mechanicsburg.

“When the women come in here and we help them they literally will say thank you 25 times before they walk out the door,” said Gaughan.

That's not because of the extensive selection of clothes and home goods. It's because owner Brian Gaughan is here for one reason. To use the proceeds from this non-profit thrift store, to give free wigs, prosthetics and clothing to any woman battling breast cancer.

He'll even help pay medical bills.

“Some of them won't take the wig off once you put it on and they walk out and you can tell they feel different about themselves,” said volunteer Eileen Defonzo.

Gail Pyne got her wig here.

“He's just one of those incredible people that when you meet him you feel you've met someone significant,” said Pyne. 

Brian and his volunteers also offer a shoulder to cry on.

“He completely understands, having had his wife go through it and so the empathy here is pretty overwhelming and it's just a blessing and a special place,” said Pyne's daughter, Anne Reidell.

“He really did this as a way of dealing with my breast cancer. He needed to talk to other people about it, said Brian's wife Laurie Gaughan.

Brian's wife of 17-years, an ultrasound technician and was diagnosed and had a double mastectomy in 2008.

“She's the reason I get up, she's the reason I turn the key she's the reason I do what I do, said Brian. 

Laurie's fine now. Brian was there for her every step of the way in 2008. And now he's here for any other woman on the same, frightening journey.

“As far as the rubber meeting the road, actually holding that lady's hand as she's crying because she just got diagnosed and she doesn't know what to do, we're one of the few that do that,” said Brian.

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