OWENSBORO, Ky. (8/2/13) -- Cancer.
It’s a word no one ever wants to hear. Few talk about it and few know what to do when it actually happens to a family member or worse, you.
Breast cancer will affect 232,340 people in the United States in 2013. In Kentucky, Out of every 100,000 women in Kentucky, 120 will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
You never think it could happen to you or to someone you know, but what if it did? Would you know how to handle the recovery process? Could you do it on your own?
Liz Blanton knows exactly how to deal with recovery patients. She is the manager of Beautiful You, a store that cares for the needs of cancer survivors and mastectomy patients.
Blanton is the daughter of a breast cancer patient who succumbed to the disease when Blanton was a teenager. Blanton saw her mom through the painful recovery process by trying to make her feel more comfortable, and many times couldn’t find things in her Tampa, Florida community to do so.
Blanton always looked for a store that sold clothing items, skin treatments and aesthetic beauty items all in a one-stop shop, but with no avail. Her mother was from the Owensboro area and Blanton would visit her grandmother many times a year. One day, she met Cherri Lolley, owner of CherriCare, and Lolley explained to Blanton that she wanted to open a shop devoted to the lives of breast cancer survivors and their comfort through rough times.
“I felt like a whole different person…I knew that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” Blanton said.
So, Blanton quit school in Tampa, where she was studying to be a dental hygienist, and moved to Owensboro to be a professional mastectomy fitter.
“It’s been the craziest two years, but it’s been a lot of fun,” Blanton said.
The store, now located on E 18th St, has been a critical shopping stop for breast cancer survivors not just in Kentucky, but for bordering states, as well. The store sells post-operation camisoles, skin care, eyebrows made of human hair, wigs, and more, for all the needs of a patient.
“You would think doctors show patients what to do post-op, but they don’t,” Blanton said.
Blanton said she frequently shuts down the entire store for patients who are currently undergoing treatment, so that they can be fitted for bras and shop around for products.
Beautiful You specializes in products for breast cancer patients, but the store also sells lingerie and jewelry for the everyday Owensboro woman. The retailer sells 30-40 different lines of bras, from first bras to sizes F, G, and I.
Blanton said since there aren’t many retailers selling lingerie in the Owensboro area, she is glad that she could bring the store to a more conservative community to “ruffle some feathers”. Blanton will always stay focused on her goal to bring affordable items to survivors, though.
“We will never leave breast cancer women in the dust,” Blanton said.
Beautiful You makes sure that you have a friend in a time of need. A friend making you feel special and beautiful in a time that you need someone to tell you those things.
“Just because you’ve had breast cancer, it doesn’t mean you have to give up being sexy.” Blanton said.
Beautiful You is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The first time you shop in the store and sign up for their Diva Rewards, you will receive 15 percent off your purchase.
Photos provided by Taylor Riley
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