Health Magazine

The Recovery Brobe

Posted on the 13 April 2012 by Jean Campbell

The following guest post, on the Recovery Brobe, is part of a monthly series on resources that can be of assistance or comfort to women going through breast cancer.

This site does not endorse or recommend a product or service resource, but rather publishes information that some may find helpful. This site does not accept financial remuneration for products or services written about in the resources series.

This post features the Recovery Brobe, a multifunctional robe, created by Allison Schickel for women having a mastectomy or bilateral mastectomy following a diagnosis of breast cancer.

The Recovery Brobe, like all resources featured on this site, was reviewed and found to be an attractive, feminine-looking, comfortable, functional product that does not look or feel like a medical garment.

In Allison’s own words:

recovery brobe
My mother always says “leap and the net will appear.” I have lived my life with that in the back of my head for many years and I truly do believe that if you trust and have faith in what you are doing, someway, somehow it will work out.

Ten years ago I was 23, newly married and about to have a baby. My first husband became chronically sick with kidney failure just a few months after our daughter Mackenzie was born. I was forced to stop the plan of being a stay-at-home mom and work not only one, but sometime three jobs to make ends meet. Very quickly, I learned to persevere and just keep putting one foot in front of the other for my family. Back then I didn’t realize that all those jobs in sales, office management and yes even waiting tables would teach me and lead me to where I am today.

The idea for the Brobe came to me in 2004 while getting ready for work. Every day I would get ready in my robe but have to always put on a sports bra to refrain from the infamous “boob sweat.” That is how the idea to build a bra into a robe began. After 5 years of sitting on this idea, I decided to make a prototype to actually see if this idea would work. IT DID!!

I wore my homemade prototype for 2 years before having the idea for the Recovery Brobe and bringing it to life.  

I was having lunch with a client/friend of mine who had a double mastectomy and three reconstructive surgeries a couple years prior. She was explaining to me the difficulties of finding a post-op garment that was functional and comfortable. After she showed me what she wore after she got home from the hospital I was appalled. My initial reaction was, “If my mother, sister, or friend just had her breast removed, I would want something that was  comfortable, attractive, and functional for them.”

I wanted to give women dignity in an otherwise hard and traumatic time.The Recovery Brobe not only is made out of luxurious fabric (think really nice yoga pants) it also has built in pockets for the post-op drains inside the robe. The bra that is made similar to a sports bra, fastens in front with velcro and also has pockets on the inside of the bra to hold a prosthetic breast(s) and/or ice packs.

I did a lot of research on what was available to women while in recovery and could not find anything like my idea for the Recovery Brobe. I decided to take the “leap” and I contacted a local seamstress who agreed to help me design a pattern and sew a couple of prototypes. I then contact Susan G Komen of Austin to see what they thought of this Brobe. They loved it.

Once I had the Brobe prototypes made, I brought them in to meet with the Executive Director and Marketing Director at Komen.

They invited a woman, who had just had a single mastectomy, to try on all of my prototypes. Once she tried them all on she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “This makes me very sad for all the women who have not had this in the past. You HAVE to make these garments.” That was my confirmation and I knew this was something I had to do.  My hope is that this invention of the Recovery Brobe will bring blessings to women all across this country.

For more information about the Recovery Brobe, go to: WWW.THEBROBE.COM

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