Allana Maiden's mother, Debbie, has been cancer-free for 21 years and a lifesaving mastectomy is a big reason why. But for more than two decades now, Maiden has watched her mother slog through specialty catalogs to buy "cancer bras" that can accommodate her breast prosthesis. They are often ugly, and ill-fitting, since she can't try them on in person. It's a process that is "discouraging, time consuming and frustrating" for mother and daughter, Maiden writes.
So she did what most young people who want to do things in the world now do: started an Internet petition. Maiden's is using Change.org to call on mega-retailer Victoria's Secret to produce a mastectomy bra for the mass market:
So many of us have mothers, daughters, and friends who have faced breast cancer. These inspiring women who have had mastectomy surgery as part of their treatment deserve to feel beautiful, too.
Victoria's Secret is known for helping women feel confident and comfortable. Please celebrate the strength and hope of the survivors in our lives with a "Survivor" line of mastectomy bras.
If successful, Maiden's petition could help mainstream "cancer wear." Not just to make women with cancer feel beautiful (though they should!), but to make them feel normal. Because they are, and they shouldn't have to go to special cancer stores to shop for bras.
Victoria's Secret is poised to make that happen. With more than 1,000 stores in the United States, the company could -- better than most other retailers -- make mastectomy bras available in a hassle-free, "drive to the mall and grab one" kind of way. It's a service I'm sure many women would be grateful for.
But the question remains: If the petition succeeds, will a Victoria's Secret line of mastectomy bras have formaldehyde in them? Let's hope not.