Sisters’ Reconstructive Bras Bring Normalcy to Breast Cancer SurvivorsThe Breast Cancer Site
When sisters Kara Gorski and Kristin Gembala heard the faintest whisper of the BRCA1 breast cancer gene re-entering their lives after their mother’s death, they chose to have double mastectomies, removing the potentially damaging tissues and greatly lessening their chances of dying of the disease.
After their surgeries, the women found it difficult to find a bra that fit their newly reconstructed breasts. They decided to create their own garments to better suit their bodies. They called the product, braGGs: Reconstruction Bras. The undergarments help to fill out the natural breast profile and look and feel like a regular bra. Many of the women who have reviewed the product rave that it is more comfortable than any bra they have used before or after surgery.
Kara was diagnosed with breast cancer a few days after her 35th birthday in 2010. The BRCA1 genetic mutation she carried had an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer, a 20 percent chance of developing a second breast cancer and a 45 percent chance of developing ovarian cancer. Because of her family history, Kara decided on aggressive treatment and immediately had a bilateral mastectomy and hysterectomy. After undergoing six months of chemotherapy and taking part in several experimental clinical trials, Kara had her breasts reconstructed.
Kristin heard Kara’s diagnosis and immediately decided to get genetic counseling and testing to see if she, too, was predisposed to the BRCA1 disease. She was. In order to not give the gene the chance to cause cancer, Kristin decided to also have a double mastectomy and hysterectomy. She is a “previvor,” meaning she did not give the cancer a chance at taking hold.
The women have created an entire line of bras, underwear and sleepwear and hope their bras bring back the beauty, comfort and confidence that cancer survivors felt before they discovered they had the disease.