This is what happened to me...
I received my breast cancer diagnosis in 2002 when I was 45
Like almost every woman, I went into emotional freefall and woke up in hospital six days later without my right breast. I knew nothing about breast cancer at that point. I didn't even know that there were two t's in the word "mastectomy" till I had one!
I underwent a therapy regime that included chemotherapy, radiation and 9 years of daily drugs, as it turned out.
I was advised to undergo reconstructive surgery at the time of my mastectomy, but that failed after seven months.
When I recovered sufficiently, I bought the thing I'd need to wear for the rest of my life, name as yet unknown.
(I now know it's called a breast prosthesis or a breast form.
I prefer the term "breast form" which is softer and less medical than "breast prosthesis").
But I definitely didn't like it!
It was too heavy, felt "icky", and I didn't like its shape or its bra.
So, coming from a design background, I set about creating a comfortable external breast prosthesis for myself and over a decade later, this is where we are.
This is me...Julie Brand
My partner Franco Pierucci and I experimented using various methods and materials, finally employing laser scanning and robotic technology to produce the perfect breast form.