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First Bra Foundation: Providing Free Bras to Breast Cancer Survivors

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A desire to do something simple, yet meaningful, has turned into a quiet, but mighty non-profit organization that responds to a simple need of the breast cancer survivor: the gift of a proper bra fitting and free bra.

The First Bra Foundation, which celebrates its fourth anniversary this month, is the vision of local businesswoman Terry Levine, owner of clair de lune. Over the course of 15 years’ operating her lingerie shop at 119th and Roe in Hawthorne Plaza, Levine has had the opportunity to assist many breast cancer survivors. “In so many instances, a woman comes to clair de lune without good direction about the sort of bra she needs after surgery and recovery,” Levine said. “And in so many cases she is still recovering emotionally, even if she has completely and physically recovered from her reconstruction. For many women, buying a bra is a challenging moment. But throw in getting used to a new body; then the experience can be even more daunting.”

Levine decided to do something to make the “first bra” experience less of a strain for the breast cancer survivor. She undertook the mission to create a non-profit that reached out to the breast cancer survivor on a personal, grassroots level by providing her with a free bra. Thus, the First Bra Foundation was born.

Receiving a free bra is a simple process. The breast cancer survivor may register on line at or she may receive a request form through a First Bra hospital partner, including St. Luke’s Hospitals, KU Cancer Center or Menorah Medical Center. In return, she receives a voucher that never expires.

“Every woman’s breast cancer journey is different,” Levine shared. “There is no predetermined window when she should be fitted for her new bra. For some it’s a few weeks after surgery or treatment; for others it could be years. We can’t pre-judge, so we made it that First Bra had no expiration.”

In its four years of service, First Bra has connected with more than 900 women, mostly from the Kansas City area, but also from around the world. Of those requests, more than 400 have received an expert bra fitting and free bra. First Bra has developed industry partnerships with notable bra brands Anita, Chantelle and Montelle and benefited from individual and local business donations to support its operation.

The First Bra Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization benefiting the breast cancer survivor with the gift of a free bra.  A woman wishing to receive her bra from First Bra may send her request through or by mail to First Bra Foundation, PO Box 7212, Overland Park, Kansas 66207. First Bra operates entirely from donations provided by individuals and businesses. Donations are tax deductible and may be mailed to the same address or through

Written by: Clair Keizer