Specialist garments for cancer survivors
Alongside many families throughout New Zealand, Breast Cancer Action Month has a special resonance for sisters-in-law and co-owners of The Fitting Room Anna Stevenson and Deborah Lewthwaite.
‘‘After Anna had a mastectomy six years ago, she discovered there was only a limited range of products available, so we decided to change that,’’ says Lewthwaite.
At their specialist lingerie store, the pair believe in providing the best range of products as well as friendly, expert help to make the fitting experience as easy as possible for women affected by the lifealtering illness.
The Fitting Room offers a complete post-surgery service, supplies prostheses (also known as breast forms) and stocks a range of bras and swimsuits in which they can be worn.
‘‘We have just brought in tank tops with pockets for prostheses,’’ says Lewthwaite. ‘‘There seems to be a shortage of these products in New Zealand.’’
There are also seamless bras available for women who need maximum comfort without the risk of anything digging in postsurgery.
The temporary store in Riccarton is filled with pretty, feminine flourishes such as ornate mirrors and armchairs. Fitting rooms are bright and spacious, and there is an emphasis on sensitivity, privacy and respect.
The Fitting Room team also handles the necessary paperwork required for women accessing funding through the Ministry of Health.
The funding is renewed every four years and is available to purchase replacement items.
‘‘Women who have had breast surgery can be feeling vulnerable, so they appreciate the individual attention they receive in a private, comfortable setting.’’
Expert advice: The friendly team at The Fitting Room say a professional fitting is the key to comfort.
Sensitivity and respect: The Fitting Room owners Anna Stevenson, left, and Deborah Lewthwaite offer specialist garments and a supportive atmosphere to womenwho have had breast surgery.