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Many uses for bras and many places they end up

by Nicole Glabman

In a town where most women are surgically augmenting their breasts, I was faced with the choice to get a breast reduction. Since I was only 16 years old at the time, it was an extremely difficult decision to make. I didn’t want to go through such an invasive surgical procedure at such a young age. A major factor that contributed to my final decision was that the surgery would lower my chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the future. Breast cancer has had a major impact on my life ever since I was a young child. My grandmother, my aunt, my cousin, and a few family friends have been diagnosed with it, but thankfully they are all survivors.

Ever since I began to go through puberty in 7th grade, I always had bigger boobs than the rest of my female peers. My friends could partake in certain activities like running and jumping in gym class, while I remained on the sidelines, afraid that my breasts would bounce out of my shirt. My friends could wear whatever they wanted, whereas I resigned myself to covering up in baggy sweatshirts. I constantly thought about how I wanted my breasts to be like those of my friends, small and perky, but on the otherNicole Glabman hand, I liked being different and unique. But were the constant self- esteem issues and feelings of insecurity worth it? I was uncomfortable and unhappy.

When I entered eleventh grade, I was on the brink of scoliosis, and I had constant back and shoulder pain. My posture was extremely bad. My breasts sagged about 3 inches, and I appeared bigger than I actually was. My body was completely disproportional- I’m 5 feet 1 inch tall, have a size 26 waist, and I wore a size 32-G in bras. I finally decided that the relentless pain and embarrassment wasn’t worth it, and a reduction would be better for me in the long run. I am fortunate that my parents have always been supportive and have always known the right thing to do. They both recognized that I was miserable, and they couldn’t have been happier when I informed them of my decision.

My parents contacted the plastic surgeon that had performed my aunt’s reconstructive surgery after her battle with breast cancer a year earlier. My parents and I went for a consultation to discuss the procedure. The doctor reassured me that I was the perfect candidate for a breast reduction. I made my final decision, and I was sticking to it. We scheduled the surgery over the week of Thanksgiving break so that I didn’t have to miss a lot of school. I only wanted to go down a few sizes though, and my dream size was a perfect D. I told all of my friends, and they were very supportive.

The surgery itself was much better than I’d anticipated initially. However, I had to eat a lot of healthy food up until the surgery, which threw me for a loop. Once the surgery was over, there was a lot of swelling, and I couldn’t see any significant changes right away. Yet, as time went on, I could notice how much smaller I looked in clothing. I also had to wear a sports bra for the first few weeks, which was very comfortable and easy. When I started to wear regular bras again, I had to go get fitted. I waitNicole Glabmaned impatiently in the dressing room at Victoria’s Secret for the lady to measure me, and after a few minutes my anxiety began to grow. Finally, she told me I was a 32-D, and I was ecstatic! I had come so far over the past few weeks, and the discomfort of the procedure was worth it.

A few months after the surgery I felt like a new person. My back felt better, my posture improved, and I had a renewed sense of self. However, getting dressed in the morning was no longer an impossible feat. I had a sudden urge to clean out my closet and get rid of the old, baggy sweatshirts that I used to wear to cover up. While going through everything, I realized just how many bras I had that I would never fit into again. I didn’t want to just throw them out or give them to a charity that I had no connection to. After doing some research online, I reached out to Bras for a Cause, a charity that that supports breast cancer.

Since this disease has touched many that I know and love, I decided that this program would be fantastic to support since it donates bras to breast cancer survivors around the US. I knew this would be a great way to give back. I also knew that a lot of people must have old bras that don't fit anymore or that they just don't wear. A lot of my friends donated their old bras too, and I got my community involved as well. The organization accepts new and worn bras in any size, and ensures that every bra finds a new home.

My goal is to make others recognize and appreciate this cause as much as I do. Nothing is more rewarding to me than seeing the smiles on the faces of those who were strong enough to win their battles against breast cancer and know that I had a part in it.