Providing support for mastectomy patients in the battle against breast cancer

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – Supporting fighters battling against breast cancer. Three years ago WINK News first told you about a Cape Coral doctor creating a new bra to help mastectomy patients.

Friday she officially put those bras on the market to expand her reach and help more of you.

If you haven’t been through it, you just might not understand. Breast cancer and the possibility of having a mastectomy. For years, doctors have given their patients uncomfortable bras.

But then, Doctor Lea Blackwell set out to make a better bra for her patients, “Velcro that came undone and scratched their skin and they said to me, I am very uncomfortable without this bra on, but I’m almost just as uncomfortable with it on.”

It’s been a labor of love since 2011. The fabric is soft, The life jacket-like buckles make it easier to use.

Blackwell says “The pockets in the front are for the drains or for ice packs, and sometimes I like to tell patients that don’t know what to use the pockets for that they can put their snacks in there.”

Her co-worker Ellen Poage quickly realized Blackwell was making a difference. But one day, she went from nurse practitioner to a patient herself, “I deal with breast cancer patients who have complications after surgery,” she said “The drains that are attached to you – I would have been scared what to do with this thing and so it was really handy to stick it in here and have it safe.”

Poage says the bra made a world of difference, and the support even moreso. “She just brings that sense of love and care, and um, support.”