Tell us a little about yourself and your journey?
At just 30 years old, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer, just 6-months after my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. Within days of my diagnosis, my treatment began.8 rounds of gruelling chemotherapy followed by a double mastectomy & reconstruction.
During my diagnosis and subsequent treatment, I began to see the gaps in support services for Black cancer patients. The lack of inclusivity meant that the majority of mainstream support could not offer me what I needed. There was no adequate advice for my hair care during treatment, no wigs or prosthetics tailored for women of colour, and vitally the mental health support offered was tailored to middle-aged white women.
I began blogging about my experiences, and I discovered that I was not alone.
I could not sit back and watch! So I set up the Black Women Rising, a support group providing help for Black cancer patients, survivors and thrivers. From there, I set up my own charity - The Leanne Pero Foundation.
How has your relationship with lingerie changed since being diagnosed?
Going through the double mastectomy & reconstruction left me looking at my body in a different way which ultimately changed my relationship with lingerie. It was no longer a simple task as it came with a lot of emotion and trauma.
How could customer service within the lingerie industry do more for the community?
For me, it would be making some of the popular styles and designs accessible for mastectomy patients. There is huge power in feeling like you look like yourself despite the surgery.