This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re proud to be teaming up with two of our former patients, breast cancer thrivers Kate Courtman and Sarah Mountford, to introduce an all-new post-mastectomy bra fitting service to Harley Street.
Kate and Sarah have a lot in common. Both have successful careers, are in their 30s, are married with two children, and live just five minutes from each other. However, they had never met until they were both diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018.
Most of their treatment, including surgery and chemotherapy, took place at The London Clinic, leading the two women to become close friends and form part of each other’s support network.
Eventually, they would become more than just friends – they became business partners in ensuring they could help other people on a similar journey.
Both women had very negative experiences when shopping for bras following their mastectomy surgeries. They decided to do something about it to ensure that other people didn’t have to endure the same experience.
“When you’re fresh out of surgery and you’re trying to get used to your new body, the reality can really hit you,” said Kate. “I had an awful experience in the lingerie department of one store, the lady looked horrified when I explained to her about my double mastectomy and reconstruction.”
“Often, the post-mastectomy bras on offer aren’t something you would ever have chosen for yourself, and that shouldn’t change because you’ve had breast cancer,” said Sarah. “Kate and I had such similar experiences trying to find bras. At a time when you want to feel like you and regain that sense of identity after surviving breast cancer, the support just isn’t there. It can feel really lonely.”
Kate and Sarah launched The Bra Sisters with the aim of providing a positive and personal bra fitting experience for people who have undergone mastectomies. Both women trained to become certified fitters in both standard and post-mastectomy bra fitting, and are passionate about instilling confidence, comfort and feel-good for their clients.
For the first time ever, this service is being made available from a hospital at The London Clinic on Friday 22 October, with the aim of providing support for even more people.
Dr Nalishebo Elliott, Head of Patient Experience and Quality Outcomes at The London Clinic, said: “Our belief is that no one should have to compromise on feeling their best and most authentic self, which can be hugely challenging for many after a cancer diagnosis.
"We’ve been supportive of Kate and Sarah since day one. The Bra Sisters are an example of great advocacy for health and well-being, and they are so aligned with our vision as an independent hospital and charity.
“We see this as the start of a journey in using our position in Harley Street to connect people, as a means of providing support beyond just medical treatment.”
The Bra Sisters added: “We’re so excited to be working with The London Clinic. The professionalism, expertise and personal touch, from all the staff, helped us through the most difficult period of our lives.
"We are grateful for the support already provided by The London Clinic in developing our business and are looking forward to working together with them to deliver our joint vision of empowering people through their treatment and beyond.”
This pop-up is a first for our hospital and The Bra Sisters. Patients and the general public are invited to visit us at our dedicated cancer unit, The Duchess of Devonshire Wing, 22 Devonshire Place, London, on Friday 22 October, from 9am to 4pm.
To book a bra fitting in advance, visit brasisters.co.uk.