Before I came to Amoena in 1997 I had no idea what a breast form was. Oh sure, I knew about arm and leg prostheses but a breast prosthesis? Really? And, as you can probably imagine, my new job at a breast care company left my friends giggling when I described the kinds of products I worked with!
In the late 1940s, my great aunt underwent a unilateral mastectomy. I can’t even imagine how disfiguring this early surgery must have left her. I spent many weekends visiting my Aunt Amy (and her Maltese, Muffin) and the funny thing is I never knew she was missing a breast! We would have slumber parties in the big king bed of her guest room –all three of us – and still I never knew. Years later, after she died suddenly from an accident at the age of 82, my mom casually mentioned her mastectomy. “What? Amy had breast cancer?” I said. “Yes,” I was told, “It was a long time ago and she would stuff her bra with a bag of birdseed so she would look ‘normal’.” Ponder that for a moment…a bag of birdseed. I know many of you have heard of women doing this or taking other inventive measures to replace a missing breast – and for my aunt, this solution could not have possibly made her feel feminine and whole.
Fortunately, in 1975 the Rechenberg brothers (and founders of Amoena) invented the first external silicone breast prosthesis. By using silicone they were able to best replicate a natural breast and it’s only gotten better since. We hear from women all the time about their choice to wear a breast form and how it has made them feel like themselves again. These women are the reason I’m proud to be a part of the Amoena family. Proud to know that what we do changes lives every day. I’m sure my Aunt Amy would be proud, too.