Every charitable cause, no matter how small or how big, begins with a story. Stories are powerful motivators because they are based on people–people who want to make good things happen in the world around them, so that life gets better for others. And that’s exactly how First Bra℠ got started.
First Bra’s story began with Terry Levine. In her time operating clair de lune in Overland Park, Kansas and Ladue, Missouri, owner Terry Levine has met and assisted many breast cancer survivors who have come to clair de lune for the appropriate undergarment to wear after treatment or surgery. Sometimes a survivor was sent by her oncologist or cosmetic surgeon with vague direction of the sort of bra she needed; sometimes she came in to the store on the advice of friends; and sometimes she visited simply because she knew she needed to acquire some type of support for her changed body.
In virtually every instance, the customer arrived with limited knowledge, a great deal of uncertainty and a fear with respect to her inquiry. It became clear to Terry, that as much as the breast cancer survivor knew she needed a bra for her recovery, it was a difficult task to endure the process. Not only was each woman dealing with overcoming the physical battle of surgery or treatment, or both, as well as any re-constructive surgery she may have endured, but this woman also now had to go through the emotional process of acknowledging her body had experienced a dramatic physical change. These factors added up to a challenging emotional time, and to be fitted for a new foundation was almost like going back to her first bra.
For all the great work that so many of the awareness and research resources provide in the battle against breast cancer, the one thing that was not available was the simple gesture of providing the breast cancer survivor her first bra as she gets back to her “new normal” from treatment and surgery. Yet from her own experience in working with her breast cancer customers, Terry knew this was an especially challenging task for so many. Why not make the process less traumatic?
And that is exactly what Terry did. After piloting the concept at clair de lune for more than a year, Terry knew she had discovered an unmet need. And so Terry and a committed group of individuals officially formed First Bra, a nonprofit organization, in 2014.
Welcome to our mission!