New bra and swimwear fitting service for women undergoing breast surgery

We're open... the new bra and swimwear service is open for business at Shipquay Street
We're open... the new bra and swimwear service is open for business at Shipquay Street

Cancer Focus Northern Ireland has launched a unique new specialist bra and swimwear fitting service in the heart of Derry for women undergoing breast surgery.

The service is available at premises adjacent to the Cancer Focus NI Charity Shop at 27a Shipquay Street and aims to normalise the shopping experience for cancer patients.

Front, Angela McGrath (left) and Dervilia Kernaghan with, back,  fitting coordinator Debbie Leslie (left) and Derry shop manager Debbie Tracey

Front, Angela McGrath (left) and Dervilia Kernaghan with, back, fitting coordinator Debbie Leslie (left) and Derry shop manager Debbie Tracey

The opening of Derry’s new shop and bra-fitting service is one of the highlights of Cancer Focus NI’s 5 th anniversary.

Debbie Leslie, Fitting Service Co-ordinator, Cancer Focus NI, said: “We are very excited about our new venture. Our bra-fitting service is unique to Cancer Focus NI and we now have a total of nine fitting centres reaching women all over Northern Ireland.

“Patients in the North West previously had to go to Altnagelvin Hospital for this service but we feel bringing it to the High Street is more convenient and makes it part of the normal shopping experience for women with a breast cancer diagnosis.”

RESTORING CONFIDENCE

After surgery and treatment for breast cancer, some women feel less confident about their body and self-image after a very tough time in their lives. Feeling good in your clothes can make a real difference, which is why Cancer Focus NI provides this specialist fitting service to help women find the right bras and swimwear.

Debbie added: “At our new centre you can choose from a wide range of styles and we’ll help find the right garment, in the right size, to suit you, so you can continue to wear the clothes you love. This patient support service is completely free and totally private.”

Breast cancer survivor Donna Duffy from Strabane, said: “I started using the Cancer Focus NI service after I had a mastectomy at the end of 2013.

“I have visited the new centre in Shipquay Street and I’m really impressed. Before I had to go to hospital for this service but I’d much prefer to come here. I can go to the Richmond Centre and then pop around the corner to the Cancer Focus NI shop and make it part of my everyday shopping. Going to the shop normalises it for you. It’s a new normal, but you’re back, you’re getting on with it and you’re living life.”

Donna added: “The range of items is very good and Debbie is so lovely and friendly, she makes you feel so comfortable. And she knows what looks right on you. If you explain to her what you want she will happily order anything in for you, nothing is a problem. I’m looking forward to getting some nice new swimwear for my holidays this year.”

PINK LADIES

Cancer Focus NI has a partnership with The Pink Ladies, who bring the bra-fitting service to women in more rural areas in the North West, including Limavady, Castlederg, Donemana, Strabane and Eglinton.

Michelle McLaren from the Pink Ladies said the new service for the local community was very welcome.

She said: “The Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group are delighted to see Cancer Focus open up their new shop here in the city, and to add their Bra fitting service here too is just amazing news for women looking to get fitted.

“Last year we entered a partnership with Cancer Focus to deliver bra fitting with in the community, we are able to complement thee already existing service and go ‘Mobile’ we can come to clients homes or to a venue near them this allows for those less able to attend to also avail of the bra fitting service.

“As a service user myself I feel that the range and the cost of Mastectomy wear are very expensive, what i can say is that Cancer Focus provide these at a lower cost which is excellent, ranges go from bras, swim wear, head scarves and much more. we look forward to continuing working with Cancer Focus and providing this much needed service with in the community.

“Lastly we would like to wish Cancer Focus a Happy 50th Anniversary.”

The fitting service is provided free of charge.

Patients can buy from a wide range of cost price styles and colours from leading brands, keener prices than in the high street.

To make an appointment for fitting or for more information email debbieleslie@cancerfocusni.org or call 028 7116 0036 x302.

If you have any concerns about cancer call the Cancer Focus NI NurseLine on 0800 7833339.