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Marla's Story


I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. It was scary for I did not know what my diagnosis really meant. I didn’t understand it because I felt fine. I worked out almost every day and ate healthy.

When I got my treatment plan, it became a checklist of things to do and cross off as they were over. At this point the fear went away and it was as if I was in a floatable boat going through a river. I kept looking for that light at the end of the tunnel, which I found later was always there waiting for me. I tried to make things upbeat and humorous. I named my port “Daisy,” and when I had no hair I wore a chef’s hat to cook dinner in. I loved to be outdoors as much as possible and regularly went on walks, ate on the patio, and waited for doctor appointments outside.

When the treatments were over, I celebrated with my family on a cruise to Hawaii. On the ship, I had the opportunity to tell my story to a group of On Deck for the Cure™ walkers. I wanted them to be encouraged to see someone like me who came out on the other side and look healthy! It was at that point that I knew I needed to make a difference to help other women feel better about their journeys.

I personally had reconstructive surgeries and was advised to wear a sports bra at my follow up appointment. So, I purchased a dark grey one generic and a white one at the sporting goods store because I had no idea where to go. Needless to say in my recuperative state, there was no way I was trying them on.

As I got dressed on numerous occasions in the days that followed, I realized that I could not wear any normal necklines. The traditional sports bra would always show. The good news is that some surgeries were in wintertime when I was recuperating, so it was fairly appropriate to wear turtlenecks, though confining. Yet, I also found myself needing to wear a high neck t shirt when I worked out which could be quite hot in the summer. I longed to wear a comfy, stylish, compression bra to the gym.

The sports bra didn’t make me feel good, especially when I wore a turtleneck on New Year’s Eve. Also, when I dressed for bed, I would have my thick, dark grey sports bra on with a pretty nightgown. Well, that was an oxy moron! I just wanted to feel stylish in this situation and not be so conspicuous.

That’s how the idea to make Today’s Smart Alternative to the Traditional Sports Bra was born. I knew just what to do because I have sewn clothing since I was a little girl and attended fashion school.

My mission with The MarlaHopeBra™ made with our Soft N Seamless Knit Design™ is to deliver the right balance of comfort, compression and style that a woman wants and needs before, during and after recovery. I hope The MarlaHopeBra™ provides women with the comfort and support they need throughout their everyday lives.

To learn more about Marla's Story, read recent posts on the I’m taking CHARGE blog, Marla Hope: Compression Bras by a Designer Who Understands, 17 Things You Need for Reconstructive Breast Surgery and Recovery from Breast Reconstruction with Implants: Immediate Reconstruction.

You can also read another post by the Plastic Surgery Foundation for the Mary Kay Foundation blog, It's OK To Want To Feel Like Your Old Self. The Mary Kay Foundation is not affiliated with Marla Hope Designs, LLC.

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