CLEVELAND — Two Northeast Ohio women are empowering others by helping those battling breast cancer feel and look better during treatment.
Denise West has many titles, including breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2013.
“No one in my family had ever had breast cancer,” she said. “We went in to do a biopsy and it had spread to the lymph nodes, so therefore classified as stage two.”
West became familiar with the uniform scrubs she and other women had to wear during chemo at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Those scrubs are designed to easily access their chemo port, but West said they're also very uncomfortable. So, she went online to search for something better.
“I wanted something to be classy, to make a woman feel good,” West said.
But no luck.
West’s husband helped put her in touch with a Cleveland fashion designer Denis Linston, who is the owner of “DYL Designs,” a clothing manufacturing company on East 36th and Payne.
The pair designed and created blouses with velcro openings in the front and sides so women can be fashionable during chemo treatments. The blouse design even comes with matching headscarves.
A focus group was also created to help the duo design their blouses.
“We just wanted to get their input on the idea of would you buy this? What would there be a need for this type?”
COVID-19 has of course brought on production and shipping delays, but the duo hopes to get their blouses posted for sale online.
The "D West & Company" website coming soon.
And in local stores and hospital gift shops in the next few months.
To learn more about the blouses or to donate, call 216-410-8555.