- How Kristen came to the decision to have a preventative mastectomy and reconstruction. Also, the reality of life and emotions after surgery.
- Finding her place amongst the breast cancer community.
- Her passion to give back to the breast cancer community and create more conversations about what happens after surgery.
- Her creation of the Brilliantly community, and the app control wearable warming device she developed called Brilliantly warm.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Here are a few of Kristen’s favorite resources for those dealing with breast cancer or an increased risk and awareness:
Brilliantly started with trying to solve a problem for myself. My mother Lisa died from metastatic breast cancer at age 49, and after years of expensive and emotionally taxing screenings, finding a lump, and learning more about my hereditary risk, I had a preventative mastectomy and reconstruction in 2013.
In the years following, I faced a profound shift in my identity and connection with my body. One of the things that bothered me was feeling constantly cold. Turned out, I wasn’t the only one dealing with this relatively common result of implant reconstruction. After countless failed attempts to jerry-rig something, I set my mind on designing a sustainable solution to help women like myself feel physically better. Through conversations with hundreds of women in the breast cancer community, I also recognized that the opportunity to help women feel better was much bigger.
Since 2017 I have started a portrait project, a corrective exercise program, and hosted numerous events about quality of life issues faced by this community. I wanted to broaden the scope of what’s out there for navigating life after an experience with breast cancer. After almost four years of R&D, Brilliantly Warm, our app-controlled warming wearable that fits into any bra is launched last year.
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