According to the latest statistics by the National Cancer Institute, 12.4 percent of women born in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. While that may seem like a relatively small percentage, it works out to be roughly 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer each year.
Dana Donofree was one of those statistics after she was diagnosed with Infiltrative Ductal Carcinoma, an invasive form of breast cancer, just one day before her 28th birthday and two months before her wedding.
During her treatment, Donofree had to undergo a bilateral mastectomy, reconstructive surgery and a grueling regimen of chemotherapy.
In the course of her recovery, the designer realized her clothes didn’t quite fit like they had before and there were no comfortable and cute options available for her to wear after surgery.
She found that the lack of comfortable options affected her self-esteem.
“I wasn’t prepared to leave the hospital after my mastectomy, nor had I set my expectations for what was to come,” Donofree says. “Recovery becomes complex once you realize how limited your range of motion is. Simple tasks like getting dressed becomes the most difficult part of your day, as your arms simply can’t move. Feeling comfortable post-surgery is so important to your overall experience and strength while in recovery.”
And that’s how AnaOno was born, a collection of intimates for women who are undergoing breast cancer treatment and surgery to help women feel beautiful, confident, and empowered.
The Recovery Loungewear collection is all designed with the unique needs of women recovering from breast surgery in mind. Soft fabric that won’t irritate healing wounds or scar tissue, a special belt to securely hold the surgical drains, gorgeous silhouettes to help you feel confident and easy to put on styles so you don’t need to lift your arms are some of the ways this intimate wear is unique.
“Each silhouette is named in tribute after a woman lost in the battle, a dedication and celebration of their lives while simultaneously providing strength, community and encouragement to women still in the fight.”
Kami, one of the models featured in the Recovery Loungewear campaign, was only 26 years old when she was diagnosed with stage 1 triple positive breast cancer. She had to undergo a lumpectomy as well as chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy.
Kami told HelloGiggles that during her recovery, she struggled with getting dressed and feeling good. “My range of motion on the left side was very limited. Putting on a t-shirt or zip-up was a struggle let alone a bra,” she said. “I always feel better when I’m not cooped up in the house, but when I can be around people. However, not being able to wear a bra or put on anything other than a large frumpy sweatshirt, I didn’t feel up to making a public appearance too often.”
“I feel like that affected my emotional well-being through the recovery process,” she continued. “Looking back, I see that it was important to feel comfortable during the recovery process because it would allow me to feel more like myself. It’s the simple pleasures in life that make the world of difference in tough times.”
Marenda, another woman featured in the campaign, was diagnosed at age 39 with triple negative breast cancer, stage 1, BRCA1+ after her husband found a lump on her breast. She told HelloGiggles that she didn’t realize how hard recovery was going to be.
“What I was not mentally prepared for was my body after my bilateral mastectomy,” she says. “Two years later I’m still working hard to regain my upper body strength and range of motion. I can only sleep on my back or on my left side. Lifting, pulling, pushing can be extremely uncomfortable but I push through. I refuse to let anything stop me!”
The Recovery Loungewear collection by AnaOno is Donofree’s way to give back to the sisterhood who had her back while she was still in the fight for her life.
“My goal with this collection is to offer thoughtful solutions for women so they can feel comfortable and confident the second they leave the hospital, and all the way through their road to recovery.”
AnaOno’s Recovery Loungewear collection is now available at a price range of $68 to $78 at AnaOno.com.