How I helped to extend Asda's range of post-surgery lingerie
Beverly Spence, 53, from Caerphilly, had breast cancer twice in four years. Beverly contacted Asda to ask if we sold specially-fitting lingerie for women who have had a mastectomy. Since then, Beverly has helped design and fit Asda’s range of post-surgery bras and swimwear.
Beverly said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that I’ve achieved what I initially set out to do – and that was to introduce a bigger range of post-surgery bras into all the Asda stores for those people who are unable to access internet sites to purchase or cannot afford the over-priced garments on sale at some other stockists.”
Beverly, who is married to Robert and has two children Michael, 29 and Laura, 19, had a lumpectomy after developing breast cancer. She responded well to chemotherapy and radiotherapy but when she went for a routine mammogram doctors found she had a new breast cancer in the same breast. Bev had a mastectomy in September 2009 and had her lymph nodes removed as a precaution.
“It was right underneath my lumpectomy scar,” says Beverly. “It was tiny, half the size of the last one. It was picked up early and didn’t need any other treatment. When I found out it was a new cancer and not a recurrence I didn’t know whether that was good news or worse news. To have had two cancers in four years – it was a shock.”
Beverly’s mastectomy scar is quite high up on her chest and she tends to wear high neck tops. Finding a bra that fits is a challenge.
“You can’t just take an ordinary bra and put a pocket in it,” said Beverly. "That doesn’t work. The sides have got to be higher and they have to stitch the outside of the cup differently to give them a bit of support. It’s more structured.
“The first bra I had from Asda fitted really well. I couldn’t believe the price. When it arrived I wasn’t expecting much for £6 but I was really surprised. The swimsuits are great and the tankini is fabulous. It’s a crossover style and the material drapes over the cups so you are disguising the fact you’ve got a prosthesis there. It’s a problem getting mastectomy bras at a reasonable price. You can get them from specialist shops but they are a lot more expensive. If somewhere like Asda can do them for £6 it’s great, particularly for older people who don’t go online or don’t have much money.”