Ditch The Mitt Campaign. Raising awareness about BRCA genes and Breast Cancer
We wish to make a difference in women’s lives with our Ditch The Mitt campaign! If you are a guy reading this, I apologise, but please bear with me and read on as it’s a particular group of women we have in mind, and it may impact you at some point in your life. During the planning stage of the ‘Ditch The Mitt’ campaign, We set out to find a way of helping women who have experienced BRCA related or Breast Cancer surgery. The Tan Brush’s strapline is ‘FeelGoodNaked’, and if there was one time in my life when I didn’t FeelGoodNaked, it was after I had breast surgery.
Soon after my operation, when the healing process began, I was given a THEYA Healthcare post-surgery bra. I can’t tell you how much that bra meant to me, not just physically but psychologically. I felt protected and secure; it was like a hug! The bra was made from bamboo, so it had natural healing qualities, and I firmly believe it made my recovery quicker and more comfortable.
Ciara Donlon founded THEYA Healthcare. After several years at the helm of a successful lingerie retail business, the idea for THEYA Healthcare came about. Breast cancer survivors regularly came to the shop looking for post-surgery bras, and she was unable to find a sustainable product that met their needs. This led her to form Theya Healthcare, which designs and manufacturers patented post-operative bamboo garments clinically proven to heal and aid recovery.
I greatly admire what Ciara and her team have created and how they have listened to and responded to women at vulnerable and sensitive times in their lives. I have stood in the changing rooms of a well known high street store and sobbed because I was so overwhelmed. No woman should ever feel that. I feel emotional discussing it and I’m sure you will understand if you have been there.
I have inherited a genetic mutation, BRCA2. What is that? Well, BRCA stands for BReast CAncer gene. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two genes we all have; they act as tumour suppressors and help us fight cancer, mainly breast and ovarian, but there are other cancers a BRCA2 carrier should be aware of, including melanoma, prostate and pancreatic. Sometimes a change or mutation occurs in the BRCA genes that prevent them from working correctly, increasing the risk of developing cancer in both men and women.
It’s amazing how complex our bodies are! However, it’s even more incredible that scientists have pinpointed these mutations and can accurately calculate risk. This, we must be grateful for! A gene mutation was very simply described to me as – an upside-down letter within a word on a page within a book on the shelf of a vast library. Mind-blowing eh?
I chose to have two major surgeries to reduce my breast and ovarian cancer risk; cancer was prevalent within our family. A tough decision considering I wasn’t sick. But I am so grateful every day for the knowledge and for the ability to sidestep cancer; to cushion my sons and my family from worry.
So, that is the reason behind our ‘Ditch The Mitt’ campaign, and this is what we will do. We promise to donate 50p per mitt that you ditch. THEYA Healthcare supports us in the Ditch The Mitt campaign with a discount for post-surgery bras. When we reach our targets, Ciara McGoldrick and her team of breast surgeons will gift a bra and a Luxury Tan Brush Gift Box to women who have recently experienced major breast surgery.
I fully understand what this feels like. It takes a while to recover both physically and mentally. It takes time before you want to look in a mirror; never mind, feel good about what you see. So this small gesture is our way of saying It’ll be all right; we understand, you will recover and FeelGoodNaked again.
‘DitchTheMitt’ Campaign commences on Thursday 12th May 2022 at 12 noon and concludes on Thursday 18th August 2022 at 11am.
In return for ditching your mitt, you – the ditcher, will have your name printed on the gift card for contributing and helping another woman feel good. You will also receive a chance to win A LUXURY WEEKEND HOLIDAY FOR 2 PEOPLE IN SANTORINI, GREECE in conjunction with OASIS TRAVEL You may also win a Tan Brush, or The Tan Brush Cleanser, or The Tan Brush Travel Bag. Follow on Instagram, TikTok or Facebook to learn how and where you can DITCH the unwanted MITTS and where we will be popping up with more brushes to give away! Exciting times ahead!
We’d love to hear from you if you have a similar story or anything you’d like to share on BRCA or breast cancer. Unfortunately, so many of us are touched by this disease, but we can express ourselves positively, empower each other and show love and support.
As women, we spend so much of our time analysing our bodies and trying to fix the things that aren’t quite right and more than often, it is the things we have no control over, like inherited genes. Yes, I inherited an upside-down gene from my dad, but I also inherited his eyes and ability to see good and my mother’s mannerisms and kindness. We should all spend more time appreciating the beautiful parts of ourselves. And to you, the girl (or boy) reading this now – you are more gorgeous than you think!
Thank you to Pamela and Lina for supporting this campaign and making it happen; it means so much and will help other women feel that they aren’t alone.