Earlier this year, we met Bonnie at the Diva Running Series in Temecula, California. Like many of our customers, Bonnie struggled to find a comfortable post-mastectomy bra that she could wear all day and feel good in. We were inspired by her story, in which she took her future into her own hands, and her ability to remain positive despite things not going exactly to plan.
Bonnie has a family history of both breast and ovarian cancer. Losing her mother at a young age (when her mother was just 40 years old), prompted her to do some genetic testing to determine her own potential risk. The screen came back positive: Bonnie had a very high risk of one day being diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer.
It was at that point she made some proactive changes to prevent herself from getting cancer, changing what she ate and what she was putting into her body.
She also made a drastic decision.
At 35 years old, Bonnie opted to undergo a double mastectomy.
Bonnie had both of her breasts removed, but during the reconstruction process (where the breasts are rebuilt with implants), the left implant didn’t take. Until she is ready to undergo another surgery to reconstruct the left side, Bonnie has to wear a prosthesis, which inserts into a pocket in the bra and clips into place. It can be difficult to find a comfortable post-mastectomy bra that is natural looking, fits well, and doesn’t make her look lopsided. Bonnie says the prosthetic bras she was fitted with were all “old granny bras.” Read: not comfortable, not sexy, and definitely not good for working out. (No disrespect to old grannies and their bras, of course.)
In the year since her surgery, Bonnie has continued to search for an effective and attractive bra that can accomodate the prosthetic insert and doesn’t make her feel self-conscious or frumpy. When she met us at the Diva Run, she took a chance and purchased our Padded Evolution Bra.
After taking it home and cutting a larger hole into the padding of the bra, she was able to insert and clip the prosthetic into place. For Bonnie, the bra fits perfectly and feels really comfortable. “I wear it all day long and I can work out in it too.” She even ran her 5K at the Diva Run in it! “I love the colours, I love the fit. I work out in it all the time! I feel pretty in it too. I can feel comfortable and confident that my prosthetic is not going to look lopsided.”
An attitude like Bonnie’s is hard to come by.
“Whether you are going through cancer or not, there are times when you don’t have that confidence.” For Bonnie, there have been moments where she has not just felt uncomfortable, but has even felt deformed. “It can be hard to shake those feelings off.”
To overcome all of it, she reminds herself that we might look different on the outside but it doesn’t make us any less beautiful. It’s not about how you look on the outside but about how you feel. “Beauty on the inside shines through.”
She is thankful for the people around her who keep her positive, and continues to look to products that promote positive body image. We love how something as simple as a bra can change your whole outlook and “give you the boost of energy and extra self-confidence you need to own it and rock it.”
“I used to be one of those girls who liked to wear bras with sexy lace. But even if it was pretty, I wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable. If things are riding up, you don’t feel sexy. My husband was checking me out in my Knixwear and commenting how sexy I was—without lace or anything fancy, just me.”
“The bra has been almost life-changing for me.”