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Breast cancer survivor gains confidence, support with help of SWFL boutique

Surviving breast cancer is only part of overcoming the disease. The other part comes after treatment. There’s a local boutique helping women overcome the physical toll of treatment, and we spoke to a breast cancer survivor who explained how it changed her life.

Kimberly Kephart has blue hair, and it’s a reason to celebration.

“I lost all my hair,” said Kephart, who is a breast cancer survivor. “I lost all my eyebrows. I lost my eyelashes.”

Kephart started losing pieces of herself when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“It’s very scary because I went through it all alone, except for my husband being with me,” Kephart said. “And we didn’t have anybody else that I could talk to.”

That pain didn’t go away during or after remission. Like so many women, to beat her cancer, Kephart had to remove her breast.

“There’s not a lot of services out here for ladies who do have mastectomies, to make you feel good about yourself,” Kephart said. “I would look in the mirror, and, to me, I always looked lopsided.”

Kephart no longer feels alone or has insecurity about her thanks to the New Dawn Mastectomy Boutique in south Fort Myers. It’s a place Kephart could buy a fitted mastectomy bra, a good wig and a prosthesis that worked for her.

“How defeated they feel coming in and insecure about themselves, that’s the hardest part,” said Ashleigh Russel with the boutique. “Because they’re all beautiful, and it just feels really good to be able to help them.”

Kephart beat cancer without friends nearby. She beat cancer without that support, but she can ow live confidently with the help of a few new ones.

And the shop sure did help Kephart.

“It makes you look more normal and, to you, not like a freak,” Kephart said.

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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