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Marla Hope Bra

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Marla Hope D’Avanzo

Jl star SPONSORED Breast Cancer /

I found myself searching for the ideal bra.  It didn’t exist.  So, I had to create one!

In 2006, my life suddenly changed forever. As a vibrant, active and healthy woman, I was on top of the world.  Life was treating me well and I enjoyed all it had to offer.

This all changed one day when I received the devastating news I had breast cancer.  Since I thought I was doing everything I could to avoid this life-changing disease, I felt confused and quite shaken.

After receiving my treatment plan, however, I made the decision to continue living my life as passionately as I had been before my diagnosis.  I laughed often and shared my story of survival with others.

Why the MarlaHopeBra™ Was Created

I courageously went through my breast cancer treatments and lost my hair. Once it grew back, I was looking forward to the reconstructive surgeries that would help me get back to normalcy.

Right after each reconstructive surgery I was put into a temporary post-surgical bra.  It was quite like a harness with uncomfortable hook tape that dug into my skin. Not only that, but it was bulky and did not show off my new shape.  On my post op visit, my doctor recommended wearing a sports bra. I was not up to shopping for bras and was unaware there are various types of compression bras to choose from. 

My friend, who is also a survivor, told me she developed fluid which needed to be drained as a result of wearing a bra without enough compression.  I wanted to avoid that condition. 

As with most post-surgical patients, I could barely move my arms over my head.  I thought a front zippered sports bra would be much easier to wear.  After my breast lift, I realized if a bra is not a long line style or has seams, it can rub incision sites.  Many traditional sports bras also have wires or molded cups which are uncomfortable after recent surgery, and would not fit after swelling is reduced. 

I learned many traditional sports bras have unflattering racer backs which show with most necklines.  I had just gotten over feeling conspicuous while wearing wigs.  Now, I felt forced to wear turtlenecks to cover up my gray sports bra and even celebrate New Year’s Eve.  I wondered, what do patients do in warm weather or to work out?  I longed for a bra with a nice scoop neckline so I could wear my favorite winter sweaters and necklaces. 

I found myself searching for the ideal sports bra that did not exist.  That was the turning point for me. I had enough and decided to help other women avoid this dilemma, too.

Having attended fashion school, I believed I could invent something better than traditional sports bras.  I realized health, fashion, starting my own business and helping others became my top priorities in life.  After surviving all the breast cancer treatments, I felt fearless to do something meaningful.

The Birth of the MarlaHopeBra™

Very quickly, I became part of the fashion world. I found the best manufacturing solution in the USA - a world class zipper and trim in just the right shades!  With fit models and medical professionals, I was on a mission to create The MarlaHopeBra™ - the right balance of comfort, compression and style a woman wants and needs before, during and after recovery.  The final sample came out even better than I had ever imagined.

Upon introducing the MarlaHopeBra, ™ women who have worn traditional sports bras quickly expressed how unexpected the soft comfort is. 

As one woman with lymphedema of the chest put it on, she mentioned it was the first time in 15 years she felt relief from the pain. Tears of joy came over me as my passion was recognized; to help women feel better with comfort, compression and style.  Subsequently, this patient had reconstructive surgery, wore it for post-surgery and continues to enjoy wearing different colors that blend with her wardrobe for comfort and to work out.  

Surgeons who provide the MarlaHopeBra™ for their patients after lumpectomies, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, have expressed how much their patients love wearing it to feel normal after surgery. Surgeons also like the suitable compression which can assist a successful recovery.

Stores which carry the MarlaHopeBra™ also remarked young women who have never had surgery are buying them to wear as a supportive sports bra in everyday life.  Patients are also thankful for the fabric tab at the bottom of the zipper which prevents chafing.

What makes The MarlaHopeBra™ better?  Our Soft N Seamless Knit Design™ delivers the right balance of Comfort, Compression and Style.   With the MarlaHopeBra™ now you can:

The MarlaHopeBra™ is designed to keep you stylish with three fashionable colors you are sure to love:

  • Natural Nude blends seamlessly under any outfit, even tank tops
  • Beautiful Black for a workout or under your little black dress
  • Passionate Pink to feel uplifted and feminine

Our bras are available in sizes extra-small through extra-large.  No matter your size or shape, you can feel comfortable in the MarlaHopeBra™ even in everyday life.

“If one hasn’t gone through surgery, a woman may not realize how crucial and necessary a comfortable post op transition bra will be,” said CEO Marla D’Avanzo. “Once a patient has had one surgery, they grasp the benefits right away. As one woman mentioned, after looking everywhere for a ‘sports bra after surgery,’ she knew from just our website that the MarlaHopeBra™ is the ticket.” 

To learn more about what other women are saying, please read our many reviews from our trusted clients.  You’ll see how the MarlaHopeBra™ has been changing lives and reshaping the sports bra industry. 

Now, over ten years later, I am in great health, loving my “girls” and following my passion to help women feel a bit more stylish through and long after their journey.

To learn more information, and to order your own MarlaHopeBra, ™ please visit MarlaHope.com today!


Categories: Breast Cancer
About The Author
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Marla Hope D’Avanzo is an 11-year breast cancer survivor. Having experienced first-hand the struggles of recovery, she channeled her father’s heart of compassion and her mother’s fashion sense to create a smart alternative to the traditional sports bra.

Marla learned to sew at age eight and earned her fashion design certificate from Otis Parsons. As a result of her diagnosis, Marla did some soul-searching, which led her to start a business: Marla Hope Designs™. Drawing on her background in fashion and business, she now creates fashion that women continue to enjoy wearing long after recovery for comfort, compression and style. 

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