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Our journey with Cancer Lead to a Bra Invention!

Young girl with her head bandaged

This is my beautiful daughter Jamie-Lee

Jamie was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just age nine, my beautiful baby girl was in a life and death struggle cancer.

Doctor testing blood pressure

Diagnosis

Jamie was suffering from seizures. We went to a children's doctor who suggested we see a psychologist. After almost a year, we gave up and went back to the doctor, who then sent us for tests. It was during these tests that they identified a large brain tumour that had been growing quickly. When the doctor sat us down, Jamie was sleeping in the waiting room. It was late at night, and she was exhausted. When the doctor said she has a brain tumour, I don't think I heard any more of the words coming out of his mouth for the next ten minutes.

In 2009 Jamie Lee was diagnosed with a major brain tumour. To be specific called an Ogliodendra Glioma. The survival rate of this tumour in children is 23%. 

Statistics:  Every year 1% of children are diagnosed with a brain tumour and 1% of 1% are diagnosed with the Adult brain tumour that Jamie Lee was diagnosed with. 

Options

We were given only two options the choices were 1. remove the tumour, and she may die from the surgery or 2. leave the tumour, and she would die within 1 year. 

Together we discussed what Jamie wanted to do. As her parents, it was essential for us to discuss the seriousness of this surgery. Jamie wants to move forward with the surgery.  Even though we were all worried and worried is not a strong enough word for the outcome.

MRI Image

Surgery

During surgery to remove as much tumor as possible, Jamie Lee suffered a deep brain stroke.  Leaving her with a deficit down her left-hand side.

In simple terms, Jamie no longer could use her left hand and had to learn how to walk again.  Both her eyes were damaged, and she is now partially blind in 50% of each eye.  (The left-hand side.)   Over the next few years, she underwent treatment of Chemo and radiotherapy, which was successful.  Jamie proceeded to grow and is now 16 at the time that this is written.  Life moved forward.

Jamie in ICU

Moving on

As Jamie grew, she had more need for more adult things. i.e. a Bra. It was a struggle for her to put on a T-shirt bra, and I searched for something better.

One day at a Bra party I looked through a catalogue and realised there is nothing better for her out there. This made me want to search further for an alternative. Thinking, "surely something is out there; I'm just not finding it".

The Search

I started to search online for a product to address the issue that she really only has one functioning hand. I found an application for a Bra by Amy Jean Liguori Bra fastener US 20130065483 A1.

This was a great product; however, it did not solve the issue for Jamie Lee.  I messaged Amy on Facebook requesting if she had been able to have this product made anywhere. I thought at least if I purchase it and customise it, Jamie would have something. 

Amy responded to my FaceBook message, explaining that she had been unable to get the patent. She was herself a stroke victim, which inspired her to develop this patent idea.  She too, had realised the limitations to the current bra configuration. She wished me well and provided her phone number in New York should we want to keep in touch.  Before Amy's stroke, she was a designer for the lingerie industry based in New York. 

This was so touching to identify with someone so very far away from Australia. 

Realisation

This inspired me to create my own patent to address this need.  That across the globe, women were having the same issue.  To enable women to dress with dignity. 

Over the next 6 months, my every waking moment was taken up with creating something functional and marketable.  Without creating the market need, no one would be better off than they currently are at the moment. 

This was the start of my journey to create BraEasy.