Breast cancer lingerie launched

Andrea Samson (left) and Lucy Warren are importers of lingerie for breast cancer survivors. PHOTO...
Andrea Samson (left) and Lucy Warren are importers of lingerie for breast cancer survivors. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Dunedin friends Andrea Samson and Lucy Warren have launched "Touched by Pink", a social enterprise to provide more lingerie options for breast cancer survivors.

Both women have been active participants in University of Otago School of Physical Education gym exercise and fitness programmes.

These popular and successful "Expinkt" programmes combine the "Ex" and "t" of exercise therapy with the "pink" of breast cancer awareness, to convey "Exercise training beyond breast cancer".

The training had been long offered by Associate Prof Lynette Jones, of the school, for people recovering from cancer treatment.

Over the past two years, both women have been busy and not only in dreaming up and preparing for the new lingerie venture.

"We’ve been through surgeries, both of us.

"We’ve been renovating and selling houses and moving and raising children and then working as well," Ms Samson said.

Prof Jones is delighted by the initiative and grateful the women had offered to provide a 5% contribution to support the Expinkt programme.

"It’s something they have put together for the good of women throughout New Zealand."

Ms Samson, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer as a young mother about 11 years ago, had then also encountered Prof Jones, who had just set up her innovative gym-linked sessions.

Ms Samson has maintained her gym connections and had had surgery about three years ago.

She has always wanted to give something back to Expinkt and that was when the idea of Touched by Pink was formed.

It had been impossible to find "nice and normal" lingerie for a breast cancer patient and much on offer was "beige, boring and very Victorian".

Such lingerie did not make her feel attractive or feminine, but like a perpetual patient.

So she and Pilates instructor friend Ms Warren, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, joined forces and were importing bras and lingerie from a line designed by US cancer survivor Dana Donofree.

They aimed to provide lingerie that was "comfortable, functional and beautiful".

"It’s exciting and it’s terrifying because we’ve never done anything like this before," Ms Samson said.

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