Episode 9 of the Intersection of Cancer and Life features an incredible guest: Dana Donofree. Dana is best known as the founder and creator of AnaOno, a lingerie company specifically for women navigating breast cancer. I first met Dana in the spring of 2018 at the Living Beyond Breast Cancer Metastatic Conference in Philadelphia, PA, and was immediately struck with her passion for and unwavering commitment to the breast cancer community.
Dana was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27, and founded AnaOno out of her own necessity and desire for pretty, sexy, beautiful lingerie. After a bilateral mastectomy with implant reconstruction, her own bras no longer fit and she was certain there must be more than just sports bras and camisoles (as nothing in the traditional lingerie market fit her surgically-altered body any more). With a degree in fashion design from Savannah College of Art and Design, and a quite successful fashion industry career, she took her 10+ years experience and put it toward designing, launching and growing AnaOno.
“Holy shit, I need to make bras.” -Dana Donofree
Dana is very active in the breast cancer community and is involved with several non-profits, including serving on the Living Beyond Breast Cancer board, and continuing to be an outspoken advocate for Metavivor. Her story has been featured on USA Today, The Today Show, HuffPost, New York Times, INStyle, and many others. However, she is most proud of being able to make a difference in the lives of women worldwide and is honored to continue to spread her mission of beauty, confidence and empowerment.
Dana and I talked about her diagnosis, the challenges she faced throughout treatment, and how she found herself designing and making bras. We get real about the struggle to navigate the need for both positivity in the face of our challenges and recognizing the harsh reality of life with breast cancer. Dana also talks about the meteoric uprising of AnaOno, including a recent expansion that made AnaOno bras available through Soma Intimates, and gives a little teaser about the possibility of another collaboration with Project #Cancerland for the 2019 New York Fashion Week.
UPDATE: The CancerlandXAnaOno show is back for NYFW 2019! The show will be taking place on February 10, 2019, and all proceeds will benefit Metavivor.
Note: In the show intro, I stated that Project #Cancerland’s website was cancerland.com, which is incorrect. Project #Cancerland’s website is projectcancerland.org.