Women's boutique caters to cancer survivors

- Susan Housewright received her breast cancer diagnosis seven years ago. It was the beginning of a journey that included chemotherapy, a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. 

"I went from there and had to do what I had to do," she recalled. 

What she did was beat cancer. Her journey also brought her to ‘A Place for Her’ boutique in Clearwater. The BayCare-affiliated store offers post-mastectomy and reconstructive surgery products. 

"This is not a door that many ladies want to drive up to,” offered manager Deborah Curtis.

A big part of what they do is education. 

"Some people think being fit is cosmetic only. It’s not. Orthodically, if they are not balanced, they are going to end up with neck and shoulder problems," explained Curtis.

Susan says it’s not just the selection, but the atmosphere that keeps her coming back. "They're more than staff. They're people and they're women and they're awesome.”

The store strives to make some of the difficult moments of recovery a little easier. 

"They were with me when I would not go into the fitting room. They kind of had to cover up the mirror because you don't want to look," recalled Susan.

A private wig room, comfortable fitting room, and bright colors all aim to create a soothing environment. 

"It's a good feeling to watch this industry change over the last 30 years. To see the look on ladies’ faces when they feel good and back to themselves again," said Curtis.

Susan is thankful for more than just the clothes she has gotten through the years. "Thank you for putting up with my tears. I can't really imagine what it would be like without a place like this."

A Place for Her also has a Plant City location open two days a week. They also offer home fittings for women who are unable to make the trip in, or who prefer more privacy.

The breast prosthesis and mastectomy bras are very often covered by insurance. Items like bathing suits and workout gear are not. And most insurances cover the cost of wigs. 

For more information, visit: https://baycare.org/services/homecare/service-groups/a-place-for-her

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