I was at a dinner party the other night with close friends when I happened to mention that I spent several hours that day at Victoria’s Secret. Bra shopping.
One of my friends asked— “For you?” She meant it seriously–but we all laughed. It was funny—as long as you can see the humor in cancer. I haven’t worn a bra in years; haven’t had any breasts since I lost mine to cancer 15 years ago.
So I’m not a frequent customer at Victoria’s Secret—and this shopping expedition was a real eye opener. (As it was for the guy lurking lingering by the entrance to the fitting rooms.)
A myriad of colors and choices makes buying bras a lot more fun than it used to be. Seems as if today the only serious part of bra shopping is the price tag. For me this was sticker shock; and it immediately reminded me of support bras. Only not the traditional kind.
I mean Support 1000, a foundation started by a man in Chicago. It’s no big surprise that for men, bras are items of interest. But for this man, Oz du Soleil, bras sparked a more unique interest—and a mission. For the past few years, Oz has been collecting bras, new and gently worn, which he donates to needy women. Starting in 2008 with one bra and a goal of donating 1000 bras, Oz has now sent 6000 bras as far as Mali and Zimbabwe.
It’s a wonderful way to contribute to women who are in need of what most women take for granted.
As a breast cancer survivor, I can see the poignancy—but also the satisfaction. So when I got home after my trip to Victoria’s Secret, I did something else I haven’t done for years—I went through my lingerie drawer. You might wonder why a woman who doesn’t wear them anymore would own any bras at all—but I found more than those 3 in the picture above. So I decided to pack up my bras—and my memories—for Oz to send to women who can actually use them. Ironically I feel lucky to find something that “fills out” my cancer journey.
One more ironic twist: Though I have no use for the real thing, thanks to Boobalas I created my own version of Victoria’s Secret: