Beautiful Bras!

Recently, I was talking with Carol…some of you may know her as cedwards55 on RMS. Carol told me about a unique fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness that was about to take place in her area.

This event had special significance for Carol and she explained, “October is Breast Cancer awareness month. Fourteen years ago (in October) I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My two sons were 3 and 7 at the time. I was determined to be here to watch them grow up. I decided I would do whatever it took to fight the cancer. I still had so many things that I wanted to teach them; and I wanted to laugh with them, cry with them, pray with them. I wanted to grow them up into the amazing young adults that they are today.

“It was a tough year but obviously I’m still here 14 years later….. I’m a Survivor. Cancer was the worst, best thing that ever happened to me. It taught me things that nothing else could have. It let me know what is really important in life. The important things aren’t really things. They are people, and relationships and kindness, finding joy in the simple things. ( Okay, this is sounding like a Hallmark card. ) One of the important things that I found was my Faith. That is what has gotten me through some really tough times in the last 14 years. I won’t go into those… that’s not a blog…. that’s an Oprah Show!

“Recently, I was asked to participate in a Fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. You see, Susan Komen was a native Illinois girl. She lived about 70 miles up the road from me. She lost her life to breast cancer at the age of 33. Her sister promised her that she wouldn’t stop fighting the battle. She established the Foundation knowing that one person CAN make a difference. You can learn more about the amazing person that Susan Komen was at:

“Okay, back to the fundraiser. My favorite little dress boutique decided to launch a fundraiser called “Beautiful Bras”. I was asked to decorate a bra (along with 49 other people) that would be displayed in the store during the month of October. Shoppers can vote for their favorite entry by donating money. Each vote is a dollar and all proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

“I was really honored when I was asked to design a bra but I wanted it to be done in a way that meant something to me. When I had my mastectomy, I had reconstruction at the same time. The reconstruction I opted for was called a Stomach Tram Flap. The procedure involved using my own stomach tissue, muscles, vascular, etc and using all of that to build a new breast. So essentially, I got a tummy tuck, and my insurance paid for it. (Where was the down side to this breast cancer stuff?)

“On one of my visits to the plastic surgeon’s office, I inquired about the cost of this procedure. (I had great insurance and never did see a bill.) When I was told what it cost, I said Holy Cow! It should have headlights and an engine. Thus, I decided to do what else? A car. Here are a few pictures of my “bra”.

I thought it soooo fitting that the word/brand ‘Champion’ was prominently displayed on the front and sides of Carol’s car!

Carol’s “bra” even has lights! Bet you’ve never seen headlights like this on a car! 🙂

The bra below was done by a friend of Carol’s who had breast cancer two years ago. Carol said, “Paula decoupaged some of the cards that were sent to her during her recovery period onto her entry. I love the way it turned out and the way the words on the cards help create the straps.”
Carol continued with her descriptions of some of the bras created for the fundraiser, “The cow print bra is entitled “Got Cure”? How creative was that?

“This next one was created by my son’s art teacher. Look at how she’s made the bra into a swing and the bra straps are the “ropes” of the swing.”

This bra is designed to be a shoulder bag or purse and was created by a gynecologist in Carol’s area….very clever!

Carol told me, “This one was done by MY gynecologist. She actually insisted that I get another mammogram because she felt something in my breast she didn’t like. The first mamm didn’t expose the cluster. So, not only did she deliver both of my children, she also saved my life. Five years after I had cancer, she discovered that she had it in both breasts. So you see, no one is exempt! She stood by me and I stood by her. She’s a very special lady and is also cancer free.

This last one is titled ‘Fruit Cups’. Hysterical!”

Carol said, “You can see that everyone really had a great time with this project. Nearly everyone who was asked to participate has been effected by breast cancer in some way. Either they are survivors or have a family member who has had breast cancer. The Kick off cocktail party was truly a celebration of life.”

Carol continued, “I think what I really would like to emphasize is that as women, we are responsible for our own health care. Please, please, please get your mammograms, do self examinations and don’t wait if you see any changes in your body. We know ourselves better than anyone else. A mammogram saved my life. And I’m so glad that it did! Who would want to leave these cuties?” Who, indeed?! Look what handsome young men Carol’s sons have grown to be (Mark on the left, John, right) with such a strong, courageous Mother there to guide them, these many years. Carol, thanks so much for sharing your brave and triumphant battle over breast cancer…you are truly an inspiration and a ‘champion’ to all who know you! So ladies, go schedule those mammograms…if not for you, do it for those you love. Carol did and it saved her life!

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  1. I really enjoyed reading about Carol’s experience and seeing those wonderfully creative bras! I, too, had breast cancer (11 years ago at the age of 34) that was found by my gynecologist. I’ve been thinking about blogging about my experience this month, and I think your post has inspired me to do that very soon! I would be honored if you and Carol stop by some time to read it.

  2. Happy To Be says

    Carol.. Way to go girl !!! How blessed you are to be also a survior…I think the fight that susan put up until the end of her young life taught us all a lesson about how we are really the landlords of our body…she was a very brave woman as you are!!! as a fellow surivor I also know how it changed my live to love each day and always strife to be better person,,any day I get up it is beautful day..just to see my Grand children raised with now having babies of there own and seeing all God beauty about me…I now take time to really smell the flowers, hear the birds singing, listen to my friends and love my family more…Carol I am so very proud of you…its not only medical help its mental that you go through..We both have been very blessed to be able to stand here now and wear our Pink Ribbons and say I am a surivor !!! God bless you Carol and thank you for sharing your wonderful story of strenght and bravery…Thank you Susan for doing this great remind to all women…and girls check those breast when you take a shower it only takes a minute but can save you a life time…Hugs and Big Smiles to all my fellow women…Gloria

  3. Wow! Carol is such an inspiration & thank you both for the reminder. I'd forgotten to schedule my mammogram in July. I'll take care of that tomorrow! :0} Diane

  4. Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents says

    May I be the first to applaud you on such a wonderful post today! Breast cancer took my sweet aunt so it is a near & dear cause of mine. Bless your friend & all the other many survivors & current fighters of this disease!

    Too adorable for words is all I can say about the Pink Champion car with "headlights"!! :0)

    Please count me in for Tablescape Tuesday this week, too!

    Big TX Hugs,
    Angelic Accents

  5. Susan, Thank you for sharing Carol’s story. May God bless her and her family! Pam (pc25)

  6. Suzann @ Lavender and Roses says

    What a fantastic post! I loved seeing all the creations that were on display.

  7. RetiredAtLast says

    I’m sorry that this post is even necessary. Maybe one day, we will only read about “breast cancer” in the history books. I pray that day comes soon.
    I am a 32 year survivor of ovarian cancer, so I know exactly how Carol feels. God is not finished with me yet. God wasn’t finished with Carol either, as evidenced by her two fine sons. Hopefully she will be around to dandle her grandchildren.
    It shows great courage that she will allow something so personal, to be posted on a public blog. My hat is off to you Carol. I know you can hardly wait for those future grandchildren.

  8. Susan,
    What a beautiful post! I was teary-eyed the whole way through it! What a beautiful person Carol is! And how lucky we all are to have met her through RMS!
    Carol this is truly an inspiring story. I’m not always good at keeping up with my mammograms, but you’ve certainly motivated me now. The bra you made was gorgeous!! What a creative and fun way to raise awareness and to get women to think about what we all need to do.
    Thank you Carol and Susan for such an inspiring and beautiful post!!!!

  9. Morning Susan…Again a generous and caring blog from you…Carol is an inspiration to us all and her great assessment of life shines through…like her darling car with a “bra”…so cute! We never know who has or who will fight this battle with the BIG C…
    God bless them all, 😉 Bo

  10. santamaker says

    Susan and Carol, what a fantastic post! Very uplifting and touching. I love the creativity of the different bras, but, Carol….NO ONE can top yours!!! What a bute!
    Thanks for telling us that there is hope for breastcancer survival!
    be good,

  11. Linda/ "Mom..." says

    *** A heartfelt THANK YOU, so very much, Susan, for sharing Carol’s story. There’s even MORE to “it” that makes her the incredibly STRONG, dear, warm, loving, giving and “supportive” (no pun intended here!!!) woman she is today, believe me. Maybe she will share that “extra” burden she carried, and maybe not, but pls believe me when I say she is REMARKABLE in every way! (Lance Armstrong has nothing on her!). We have become the closest of personal friends ~~~ more like sisters separated at birth, really ~ altho I have never mentioned it on RMS (I have no blog), she has “been there” for ME, and my wonderful husband, for many, many months now, as HE fights “HIS” cancer battle. It’s been “a journey of experiences”, and I don’t know what I’d do without her! She is MY “beloved battle buddy” and Carol, I love you… but you already know that! I’m so glad you shared this with Susan, so together you two could inspire others, encourage THEM to get their mamograms, and prove that faith in Him gets US through so much more than we thought we could EVER handle. I admire you, beyond words, my dear friend. And thank you, dear Susan! Much love, Linda (and Jim n’ The Belle-girl)***

  12. Wow, what a great story, I will have to make sure Cindy reads it. Since you don’t have much opportunity to support “lymphoma”, Cindy has taken breast cancer as her cause, she also has a greater risk of breast cancer with her treatments. Her dr. told her that within the year she will have to start having mamograms(at age 34). She is participating the race for the cure on the 25th also.
    Again, what a great post. I read them everyday, but so far haven’t jumped in to the blog world. I read a ton of them, but just haven’t jumped in.
    THanks for such interesting subjects! Stay in touch. Vicki

  13. Carol is a remarkable lady and when I had my scare just a few months ago she was there to talk me through it~~her words got me through a very difficult time and I am forever grateful to her for that! She is an amazing woman, inside and out! Hugs~~~French;)

  14. Darlene - Our Creative Life says

    Thank you for that inspirational story! I had my first mammogram last January with my yearly pap smear. Found out that our insurance through hubby's employer set up their plan to only cover $150 worth of preventitive care…isn't that ridiculous! So I had to pay out of pocket for it. They said if I was sick they would cover it, but because I wasn't they wouldn't…CRAZY! They should have pap smears & mammograms covered by all insurance companies!!!

  15. What an inspiring story.Thank you Carol for sharing.You’re so brave to have gone through this and have the attitude you have.I adore your bra.The ideas people came up with were awesome,but yours is truly thr neatest.Susan thank you for posting this,we all need to be reminded every once in awhile how lucky we are….Ann

  16. salmagundi says

    What an inspiring story to instill hope in those who are battling cancer of any kind. The “car bra” was the best!!! Sally

  17. Susan, What a wonderful blog today. Really creative people. Deanie

  18. Linda/ "Mom..." says

    ***Just talked with Carol & she told me this is the song that got her through so much of it all, and that she cried (rightfully and understandably!!!) reading this WITH the music. Since I always have the TV on in here, I came back to re-read Carol's story WITH your music, Susan… am experiencing goosebumps alllllll over, as well as sooooo many thanks to Him for all of life's blessings. Sincerest warm hugs…to everyone… XO Linda

  19. Wow! I had to hold my breathe reading this. My family is very susceptible to breast cancer. My sister was diagnosed about 8 years ago and thank God, it has not recurred. I have a first cousin who died at the age of 37 of breast cancer and lots of aunts who passed away because of it. This just reminds me to get my mammogram soon. Carol, the bra you created is awesome and you are an awesome lady! More power to you! Susan, thanks for writing about this, it’s very inspiring…..Christine

  20. Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity says

    Thanks for posting this Susan. I love..Carol. I am so glad she is a survivor. And is here to enjoy her sons and life. I love Carol. I see Linda was here, too!!! Don’t you just love blogging. We get to know each other so much better. If I had my way Linda, Carol and several other RMS gals would join us. Back to the bras. I loved them. Aren’t these women creative. And we know they are so.. brave. I love to hear their stories of the faith they have in our lord that got them though all of those emotional times. God is good!!

  21. What a great fundraiser idea! And it allows people to be so creative, too! My step mom is walking the 3-day this year in a few weeks. She’s done a heck of a job raising money for it! I’m proud of her and of all the women who fight this horrible disease.

  22. thankyou for sharing this touching story,Susan and I am so glad was the one to be able to tell it!I love the fundraiser idea,It is amazing how creative these ladies were, especially Carol’s.I already have my yearly exam scheduled. I do it the month of my birthday every year, that way I can’t make any excuses for not remembering. Have a great day! Smiles Kathysue

  23. Debbie @ says

    Susan this is great, and a good reminder to have that mammogram! I will do it.
    Great posts, love the pictures, the headlights, all of it! Thanks so much.
    PS please add me for Tuesday if we are still doing the tablescapes. Yours this week was over the top!!!

  24. Thank you for sharing the story of your friend, and Happy Pink Saturday.

  25. Susan, this was just wonderful. Please thank Carol for sharing her story with us. And, her car is just the bomb!!!

  26. cedwards55 says

    Susan, Thank you so much for allowing me to encourage your readers to “take care of themselves”. Women’s health care is so important and often times we are so busy taking care of everyone else that we take a back seat and neglect ourselves. Please, DON’T DO IT!!!! Love yourself enough to take care of YOU!
    Thanks also for all of the positive comments that you’ve showered me with today. This means so much to me. You’ll never know. And when I opened this and Mariah was singing HERO I kind of had a “moment”. I nearly wore that CD out in 1994. HERO got me through lots of “stuff”. My boys even recognized it’s special significance to me. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a three yr old belting it out from his carseat! The really special part is that Susan had no idea what that song had meant to me. So, thanks for being such an intuitive friend, Susan.
    I should put a little PS on here. I’m not short. I’m a very respectable 5’4″. My boys are just tall…. one is 6’4″ and the other 6’1″. They make me so proud!
    Now, go make a mamm appt if your due for one.
    love to you all, carol

  27. sarah @ a beach cottage says

    a wonderful story and a wonderful post and I love the bra!

    thanks for sharing


  28. What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing Carol’s story!!!

    P.S can I please be added for tomorrows tablescapes?
    Looks like so much fun and I’d like to give it a try ; )


  29. Kristens Creations says

    What a great story, I just realized Carol’s rooms are some of my favorites! She always leaves such nice comments on my spaces, I can tell she is a sweet person. I love the bra she designed.WOW! It’s really amazing. I’m new to blogging so I’m just now getting to really know some of you ladies. Susan, I definitly remember your rooms, you have left me some sweet comments too. I would like to be included in tablescape tuesday if it’s not too late. My table setting is pretty simple, but BO visited me today and said I should participate. I really like your blog and will be visiting often! Thanks, Kristen

  30. Thank you SOOO much, Susan for posting this incredible lady’s story and yo Carol…thank YOU for inspiring all who will read this story. Your boys are wonderful young men who are so incredibly blessed that they have had you to raise them. I was so touched by your story. I just saw Susan B. Komen’s sister on OPrah, and what an AMAZING thing she has done with this foundation! God bless all you women who have battled this disease. I feel unbelieveably blessed to not have had it. Thanks again, Pinky:)

  31. wow – there’s nothing left to say, everyone else has already said it, beautifully…ps, I’ll be praying for your hubby, Linda

  32. Leave it to you, my dear friend, to create an absolutely imaginative and bedizened bra! Having previously shared with me your amazing story of survival…in more ways than one may I add, this is testimony of one with character. I raise my “cups” to you!

  33. Linda/ "Mom..." says

    (For anonymous~ Thank you so very much ~ bless you for your prayers, which are gratefully accepted. Warmly, Linda)

  34. Life on Bonnie Lane says

    What an incredible post, and what an inspiration Carol is! Thanks for sharing her story, and thanks to Carol for letting you. I hope it inspires someone out there to get her mammogram and pap tests. Got mine done a couple months ago!

    Those bras are awesome. I like Carol’s the best! Also love the fruit cups bra, lol.


  35. Susan and Carol-What wonderful inspiration this has provided to so many women. Carol, your courage and your determination will inspire so many. Leave it to someone who has such a creative and wonderful home to design such a perfect tribute for the fund raiser! I’ve always heard them referred to as “headlights”, but I still would have never thought of this! How wonderful to “meet” a survivor with such a great sense of humor and style. Thank you so much Cindy and Susan for sharing this beatufiul story. Laurie (bargainhunr) P.s.Your sons are so good looking, and you are so cute. You have every reason to be proud of yourself and them.

  36. What a wonderful inspiring story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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