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My Left Breast adapting ways of doing business to help customers during pandemic

Hi friends,

I wanted to take this time to send our customers and supporters a huge thank you and to give you an update on what I’ve been up to since COVID-19 has hit our community. We’re all living with our own challenges right now, and the only way through this mountain is up and over together.

I’m very thankful to those of you who #lovelocal and have made telephone and email orders for our wonderful products at My Left Breast.

We recently released the Amoena spring and summer collection, along with daily deals, which you can check out over the next little while on our Facebook and Instagram pages and e-blasts. Many of our distributors are shipping directly which is great news. If you have insurance, now is a great time to do your annual bra shopping.

I’m currently working on an e-commerce section on myleftbreast.ca and will certainly let you know when it’s up and running. In the meantime, keep calling and emailing your orders.

While Marlene and Peggy are having some downtime at home, I’ll remain at the shop from Monday to Friday, 11:00 am to 4:30 pm (shop is closed to the public). We want to continue to serve our customers and are adapting our current ways of doing business to help you during this time.

If you need a medical compression garment, prosthesis, headwear, a wig or a gift certificate, you can receive it in a few ways as we follow social distancing practices:

  • Shipping
  • Local doorstep delivery
  • Doorstep pick-up at the shop

Since March 16th, I’ve delivered many complimentary post-surgery camisoles for women who have had breast cancer surgeries.

My Left Breast and Birdies 4 Breast Cancer Care have also partnered to provide a complimentary post-surgery camisole or complimentary bra to those going through a lumpectomy or mastectomy. 

Our beloved Denise MacDonald and her family organized the first Birdies 4 Breast Cancer Golf Tournament. Funds raised help women who are in financial need and going through breast cancer treatment get access to items they need during their breast cancer journey. Denise’s giving heart keeps on giving during this pandemic. Thank you, Denise!

I’m excited to share that several of our customers created a sewing group called Healing Hearts: You Are Not Alone. They provide soft heart-shaped pillows for comfort for women who are healing from breast surgery. We have delivered and shipped these soft pillows which are always met with grateful hearts. 

Before I sign off, there are numerous people I want to personally thank: Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and DBIA for offering accurate information and support to help local businesses, our landlord Todd Smith of AON Inc., BMO, our courier drivers, the medical community, post office workers, grocery store workers, our suppliers, my dynamic duo, Marlene and Peggy, and other partners who help keep My Left Breast moving forward. I’m very grateful for you all.

We are here for you. Thank you for being there for My Left Breast. 

Much love to you all,

Bridget 

 

Dragon boat racing: Experiencing Peterborough’s spirit of teamwork and community

The Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival holds a special place in my heart. Marlene, Peggy and I paddle with Survivors Abreast Dragon Boat team. 

The two weeks following up to the festival are super busy for us as we help with Survivors Abreast teammates and provide over 60 community teams with one-hour Little Lake practices. 

Marlene and I coached the teams and we honestly love the energy of those teams and their commitment to our community. Peggy fearlessly steered the dragon boats for the community team through wind and rain.

Festival day was a beautiful day, full of sunshine, smiles and laughter.

The Peterborough community continues to make me proud to live here. Our people get behind the cause with heart and step up to the plate each year. 

As a Survivors Abreast paddler, festival day tends to swell my heart, and to see over 60 teams supporting our festival is a testament to people coming together to make a difference. 

I have paddled now for nine years with Survivors Abreast, in nine Peterborough Dragon Boat Festivals, two International Dragon Boat Festivals (Peterborough 2010 and Sarasota 2014), and countless summer festivals spreading the word that early detection can save your life.

As a breast cancer survivor — cancer free since 2006, I have to add — I know the importance of early detection and the importance of awareness.

I think if my mind had been more aware that breast cancer could touch me, I would have been more proactive when I felt a lump and wouldn’t have waited months until making a doctor’s appointment. Don’t we all love the wisdom of hindsight?

I love the strength I feel in the boat when paddling and the inspiration of all the women around me.

I often say to my paddling pals who are in their mid-70s, that dragon boating paddling is the fountain of youth. They look and have the energy of someone 20 years younger than they are. 

Survivors Abreast paddlers and the Peterborough community surround me with warmth and energy to keep moving forward. 

Best,
Bridget

Paddles up and take it away! Florida Training Camp pushed us out of our comfort zone

On April 6, fearless paddlers flew off to Tampa, Florida to have some fun in the sun and to get a jumpstart on our paddling season.

We arrived at the Dragon Boat Paddling Camp to beautiful accommodations overlooking a lake, with the dragon boats docked below our patios.

The first morning we had our wakeup call. This may be a little bit of a fitness stretch for most of us, although some of us had been busy preparing for the camp all winter by swimming laps in the pool, running and working out at the gym with weights.

The paddling was intense.

We started the morning with a one-hour boot camp, which we quickly modified to our levels of need, along with some yoga stretches. 

We bravely entered the boat and paddled for the next 2.5 hours with people from all over the U.S. and even meet some new Canadian friends. 

Leaving the boat, I thought the ground might be too far away as I laid down for a few good yoga stretches, working my hip and lower back muscles until they loved me once again. 

We were thrilled when they told us we have a several hour break where we could swim, replenish our energy and meet our new B.C. friend, Glenda. 

Back in the boat we went for another 2.5-hour paddle and a 1,400-metre race to wind up the workout. We wanted a winter work out and well, a winter workout we got! 

By day three, we were comfortable in the boat with our new paddling partners, learning a few new tricks, gathering our energy up for the mini regatta, and to finish off with a long-distance race. 

What we learned is that Florida teams mostly race 200-metre races and their stroke rate is very fast. 

The Survivors Abreast paddlers have been coached to race longer races and have a long, slower stroke rate. The coached appreciated our slower stroke rate and pace. And while he did push us with the fast stroke rate, he also taught the group the advantage of the longer stroke.  

We survived and headed off to Cocoa Beach for some relaxation, shopping and beach time. 

     

There’s nothing I like more than a good book and a beach. 

Sometime you need to stretch and do something completely different — and we certainly did. 

Best,
Bridget

My Left Breast turns 10: Bridget reflects on the past decade

Bridget Leslie, owner of My Left Breast

It’s incredible to think that My Left Breast turned 10-years-old this past September—and what a journey it’s been. 

When I first heard the words, “you have breast cancer”, I would have never in a million years have thought I would be standing in a shop a decade later surrounded by women helping other women. 

I was 44 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and it certainly wasn’t part of my life plan.

I was in complete and total shock.

As I moved through my surgery and treatments, I was confused by how challenging it was to find post-mastectomy products I needed for my recovery. I was so engrossed in my treatments, I certainly didn’t have much energy to put into the search for helpful products.

It was during that time, my friend took me for a prosthesis fitting. I remember as we walked out of the fitting, she said, “Bridget, you could do this and do a great job!”

In that moment, those were the words that sparked the creation of My Left Breast. The rest is history, as they say.

My vision was to create a caring environment— a place where women could feel comfortable and be themselves; where they could shop effortlessly for everything they needed from beautiful bras, lingerie, wigs, hats, prosthesis to compression sleeves.

I wanted My Left Breast to be like entering a warm, safe hug filled with peer support and resources to help make these women’s lives a little easier as they navigated their “new normal.” 

The wonderful words of my customers always bring me back to my goal.

As one lady was leaving the boutique one day, she paused at the door and said, “I always feel comfortable and supported coming in to the shop.”

I told her that this is what my plan was ten years ago, and her response was, “You did it!” 

I can’t believe how lucky am I to work with women everyday who are bravely facing a life-threatening disease. Somehow, we become a small bow in the road of their journey.

I want to thank our customers for allowing us to have that glimpse into their lives at such a vulnerable time. 

Our staff at My Left Breast know firsthand what you are going through, having been through recovery ourselves. Our door is always open. So, drop on in to see us and draw on our expertise and emotional support as you heal from breast cancer surgery and treatments; we’re here to guide, inspire and empower you.

Best, 
Bridget

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