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"I cheated cancer," says Patricia Brett founder and designer of Veronica Brett a swimwear collection of sexy classic swimsuits for breast cancer survivors. Brett is the youngest girl in a family of 11 children. Sadly, she knows cancer all too well. Patricia Brett has escaped a cancer diagnosis, but her passion for women with breast cancer comes from seeing a family of strong women fight against this disease.
How has cancer changed your life?
Luckily, I have never been diagnosed with cancer. I created Veronica Brett swimwear as a tribute to all the women in my life (aunts, sister, niece, and cousins) that have been affected by breast cancer and the BRCA1 gene.
So I guess cancer did change my life in that it became my calling to help other women affected by breast cancer. I wanted to create clothing that would help women feel great about themselves again, to help them feel confident and sexy all over again.
Do you feel that everything happens for a reason?
I’m not sure if everything happens for a reason or not. I just know that I was born into this really big family of amazing, strong women and we lost some of them very early to breast cancer. I’m in the generation fortunate enough to know about the BRCA1 gene and our risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
What advice do you have for women undergoing cancer treatment?
Ask for help, ask for support, ask for answers. If you feel a lump or suspect something is wrong, tell your doctor. Don’t let anyone tell you "it’s nothing" or "you are too young to have breast cancer". Ask, "What tests can you do to determine it isn’t breast cancer?"
Push until you get the answers you need to make informed decisions about your treatment. If you don’t like the way the doctor or nurses treat you, go somewhere else. You deserve information, respect and compassion.
What challenges do you face on a daily basis and how do you overcome them?
Like lots of people, I tend to doubt myself at times. When this happens, I pull out my copy of Oprah Magazine, (the August 2010 issue where she called Veronica Brett a "Genius Idea"!). Or else I reread the beautiful emails I have received from the women who have bought my swimsuits. These really keep me going.
What do you find beautiful about yourself?
I think my blue eyes are pretty beautiful, especially when I am really excited and really happy. My creative streak can be pretty beautiful as well.
How did you start your business and why did you pick bathing suites?
I started Veronica Brett swimwear primarily due to my sister and my niece. They both had mastectomies without reconstruction. They are both young and really attractive. I picked bathing suits because the options available were not very fashionable or appealing to young women. Swimsuits are also the most public garment a woman would wear after surgery where she felt most exposed.
What’s your favorite bathing suite?
Definitely the Veronica Brett lace-front halter (I wear it in black!). It is a really flattering swimsuit, fits well and is great for relaxing at the beach or a day at the water park with my 11-year-old son.
Do you plan to expand to other types of clothing?
Yes, there will be other types of clothing, but first more Veronica Brett bikinis and sexy beachwear for women who have had mastectomies!
It is time for women to recognize their beauty! No more fearing that a breast cancer or mesothelioma cancer diagnosis is going to limit your ability to live a normal life. Life is about what you make of it and with Veronica Brett designs you can now lay by the pool or beach feeling confident in how you look.
It is important to remember that true beauty comes from within. When you feel beautiful on the inside it radiates out. Take back your life and let your beauty shine through you. Life is too short to waste being worried and hiding from the sun. Go out and show off your beautiful body because you survived and have the RIGHT to feel confident and beautiful in your own skin!
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients and Their Families
- Request a Free Mesothelioma Treatment Guide
- Connect with Top Mesothelioma Doctors
- Locate the Nearest Comprehensive Cancer Center