Keeping Abreast charity backing Kickstarter campaign for revolutionary bra to help breast cancer patients

Sue Pringle founder of Mille Lingerie with her new Millie bra designed to be comfortable for women w

Sue Pringle founder of Mille Lingerie with her new Millie bra designed to be comfortable for women who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery. Picture: REBECCA LEWIS - Credit: REBECCA LEWIS

A Norwich charity is backing a fundraising campaign to develop a bra specially designed for women who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery.

Keeping Abreast supports women diagnosed with breast cancer who are facing a possible mastectomy or people who have gone through the operation.

It is supporting an online Kickstarter project to raise £30,000 so more than 500 Millie bras, made with soft material, can be produced and sold from October 2017.

UK-wide Keeping Abreast, which started 10 years ago and has support groups in Norwich and King's Lynn, will initially gift 45 of the bras if the £30,000 target is met by April 3.

The idea of the Millie bra was thought up by Sue Pringle, 55, from Nottingham, who had her left breast removed via a full mastectomy after being diagnosed with cancer in 2002.

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Mrs Pringle said: 'It took me a long time to find a bra which was vaguely acceptable. There wasn't much choice and I didn't want to be treated like a breast cancer patient.

'We are women who want to feel feminine and elegant.'

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The former Boots product design marketing expert added her Kickstarter campaign made her feel 'empowered' and having an elegant bra after going through breast cancer treatment was important to her.

'I just smile when I wear my Millie bra. It gives me a boost.'

Mrs Pringle, a mother-of-two, decided to design an attractive item of lingerie after another cancerous lump was removed five years ago and she found normal bras uncomfortable.

Her product costs £60 - because of its many components - and Mrs Pringle hopes to expand the Millie bra into different styles and get it into major stores.

She added she was really happy with her collaboration with Keeping Abreast which also has support groups for breast cancer patients, including partners and family, in Leicester, Bristol and Liverpool.

Tracey Allan, Keeping Abreast development officer and volunteer, said: 'We are delighted to be working with the Millie bra project. It gives people their femininity back after such drastic surgery.'

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