CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Every stitch, every snip of the scissor, every bra tells a story.
“This one is a nurse friend of mine who survived breast cancer and it’s come back in her bones,” Elsie Baker explained as she showed the Halloween skeleton-style bra in her dining room.
Baker and her friends at the Great Bridge Women’s Club have created one every year for a decade. For them, it’s about the camaraderie.
“It’s fun and of course we have to have food,” Baker said. “I’m having apple cider donuts tomorrow.”
It’s also about the cause.
“With the cost of mammograms, that’s why this is so wonderful, people can’t afford it so they might wait until they have symptoms, and by then it’s really risky. So it’s a great cause,” Baker said.
Across town, Adele Langkil is a bit more competitive about her creations.
“They are just over the top — some people might go ‘where’s your bra?’ cause some of them you can’t see,” she told WAVY.
Her favorite was a model of the Jennings Breast Center Building at Chesapeake Regional she carefully crafted over several months.
She is very serious about her art, and early detection. “I was diagnosed April Fool’s Day 2003 … and it wasn’t funny at all,” Langkil said.
She went through eight chemotherapy treatments and 33 radiation treatments.
“It was quite a challenging opportunity to go through, and I say opportunity because of the lesson you learn from it,” she said.
Through her bras, she passes those lessons on to others, including her granddaughter, who won in the Best Youth category in 2020.
“I always thought you had to have a lump to have breast cancer, and you don’t. The breast cancer I had only showed up on a mammogram,” Langkil said.
The bras are a canvass — a conversation starter, and a cause to celebrate — survivors.
Anyone can create a bra, but the deadline to register is this Sunday, September 25 at midnight. For more information and to register click here.
The Bra-Ha-Ha Awards Show and Auction will be held October 14 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Tidewater Community College – Chesapeake Campus.