Breast Cancer and Bloom Bras
Unless you live under a rock, you probably have heard that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Close to 1 in 7 women are now affected by the awful disease. The positive is that, if caught early, there is a high survival rate. Both numbers increase each year (www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-facts).
The company, Bloom Bras, is named after my grandmother who gave me my love of food, travel and my extra large chest. I lost her to breast cancer which raised my awareness and forced me to make changes in my life. This had to do with diet, exercise, getting regular mammograms and checkups and I also made the decision to cut out underwire. I do not get to talk about this in the media but your lymph nodes need to drain. Toxins build up. Indirectly, this leads to terrible consequences. Busty ladies, like me, do not have options unless #freethenipple which is not a pretty sight in my case. If you have had a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, it is even more important to understand the structure of your bra. According to doctors and surgeons, in the first year after breast surgery (such as a mastectomy or lumpectomy), it's best to wear a bra that has:
- soft seams
- a wide or no under-band
- deep front and side panels
- full cups
- fully adjustable straps
- minimal detailing
- no underwires
In 2011, I ran my first half marathon on behalf of Imerman Angels and Livestrong. There was a woman there who I wish I knew the name of. She shared her story of being a 3 time breast cancer survivor with the last bout being Stage 4 just months out of chemo. I am paraphrasing but her words were something like this:
There is no reason I should be alive today but I am. Cancer did not kill me. My mind and spirit have never been stronger. My body is catching up. I do not care if I have to be dragged, crawl or you all have me on your shoulders, I am going to finish those 13.1 miles tomorrow.
Several things went through my head. First, OK I guess I have no excuse not to run this even though I have not trained. Second, the attitude and the perseverance of this woman was infectious. I have since met thousands of survivors who share this same exuberance. Third, I needed to dedicate my life to creating products that were better for us no matter what stage of life.
As we move into the month, we will, as always, be donating sports bras to those survivors who are trying to get back on their feet moving. We want to hear your shout outs, sponsor your teams and be a part of your incredible journey. Each one of us has been affected or will be with a woman (or man) in our lives. I encourage you in this month of awareness to recognize the badasses like Sarah Thomas who a few months out of an aggressive form of breast cancer recovery, set a world record swimming the English Channel FOUR TIMES We raise our boobs to you, ladies!