Good Life: The Mix: Survivor Savants

It’s not something most of us realize, but after surgeries and treatments, when breast cancer survivors go back to “normal” lives, a new set of hurdles awaits: As a result of mastectomies, chemo, and traumatic side effects such as lymphedema — a permanent, localized fluid-retaining condition — women need special post-surgical bras, skin-care products and compression garments, often for the rest of their lives. And when it comes to the available products, we’re mostly talking beige and frumpy. Luckily, Philly’s got some ladies who are making life easier — and more stylish — for survivors

WHO
Sisters Jeanette Caligiuri (left), a breast cancer survivor, and Bonnie Scalfaro (right), who, due to her family history, underwent a preventive double mastectomy.

WHAT
Opened Faith & Hope Boutique this past October in Abington, and a second location in the Rena Rowan Breast Cancer Center at HUP in February, to cater to women with breast cancer both during and after their treatment.

INSPIRATION
“We didn’t just want to provide women with the same Victoria’s Secret-type bras they wore before breast cancer — we wanted to give them a place where they walked in and felt comfortable,” says Caligiuri.

PRODUCTS
Pretty post-surgical bras and camisoles, humorous t-shirts and hats (our favorite is “No Hair Day”), specialized skin care, and Kym Handcrafted Jewelry, a line of elegant show-your-support designs created especially for the boutique.

BUY IT

At 1915 Guernsey Avenue, Abington, 215-885-1143, and Abramson Cancer Center, 14th floor, Penn Tower, 3400 Spruce Street, 215-615-3321; faithandhopeboutique.com.

WHO
Kristin Dudley, a Drexel design-school graduate and co-founder of LympheDivas, along with the late Rachel Troxell, whose husband and parents are still actively involved in the company.

WHAT
The company designs medically correct, moisture-wicking, comfortable, fashionable compression garments for women who develop lymphedema as a result of breast cancer treatments.

INSPIRATION
“Rachel was such a strong woman who took matters into her own hands — and gave other women the power to do the same. Our products promote compliance and save lives,” says Dudley.

PRODUCTS
Styles range from solid classics to paisley, lace and leopard-patterned sleeves (modeled by Dudley, above); the company is also developing leg garments.

BUY IT

In Durable Medical Equipment stores and cancer treatment-focused boutiques (including Faith & Hope!) in 20 states; through its website, Lymphedivas.com.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.