We'd like to introduce you to Valerie Murphy, she is one of Theya Healthcare’s very first stockists and someone who, like us, puts women’s needs at the centre of everything she does. We asked Valerie about the invaluable service she offers to women, where her idea came from and why she enjoys it so much.
Valerie loves nothing more than hopping into her car and visiting women who need her help. Based in Limerick, in the Mid West of Ireland, Valerie offers women a personalised fit service in the comfort of their own homes for mastectomy bras and breast prostheses.
Back in 2012 Valerie and her family were living in Austin, Texas. It was just for a year and while there Valerie volunteered with a breast cancer charity.
'It was a great experience and I met some lovely Texans who wanted to support women facing this dreadful disease. As a volunteer I helped to organise events, fundraise and I had a lot of fun helping to make the ‘ouch’ cushions which were sent into the breast clinic to women after surgery.'
Whilst volunteering and having the chat, as Valerie loves to do, she found out, from another volunteer, about a home visit mastectomy fit service in Austin. Valerie thought it was a great idea.
'I loved the idea of it and how it obviously was such a valuable service to the woman I was chatting with. I researched and saw that there wasn't a mastectomy service like this back home, in Limerick. It was a light bulb moment for me. By the time I got home to Ireland a year later I had completed intensive training as a mastectomy fit specialist with an American company and had created a plan to start the service in the Irish Mid West. When I got back to Limerick, I contacted the HSE and the Irish Cancer Society. Both were a huge support and I set up my service.'
Mid West of Ireland, photo courtesy of Mary Margaret Ryan
Not long afterwards, a friend in Dublin contacted Valerie to tell her about Theya Healthcare and how Ciara Donlon had created a revolutionary mastectomy bra. Valerie arranged to meet Ciara to find out more.
‘It was a very exciting time for both Ciara and I, as Theya Healthcare and Valerie's Breast Care were new ventures. We had both had our business ideas in 2012 and had worked hard to get to the point where we could make a difference to women's lives. As soon as the Theya Healthcare range came to market I began providing the bras to my clients. They love the unique bamboo fabric and how comfortable the bra is, especially after surgery. It is fantastic that Theya Healthcare is one of the mastectomy bras listed as an entitlement for medical card holders.'
Six years later and Valerie's Breast Care has gone from strength to strength. Valerie’s multi award winning service has provided for hundreds of women in the Mid West and it’s not surprising! Valerie’s kind, caring approach and genuine desire to help women shines through when she talks about her business.
‘I absolutely love what I do! I get a huge kick out of seeing a woman's delight when she is fitted with the right bra. My aim is for every woman I meet who has had breast cancer to feel beautiful again after her surgery. I have helped women who didn’t have products for many years and were basically 'making do' with what they had. Women love to have the option of standing in front of their own mirror, in the comfort of their own home. I travel to all parts of the counties of Tipperary, Clare, Galway, North Cork and Limerick. I also visit nursing homes, cancer support centres and hospitals.'
Valerie’s service is all about doing what works best for her customers. Many of them like the convenience and comfort of her home visit service. Others prefer to make an appointment to get fitted at Valerie’s lingerie shop in Limerick, where after a little refreshment, they can see and try Valerie’s wide range of breast prostheses, mastectomy bras and swimwear at their leisure. Because Valerie invests the time in her customers, they know they can rely on her and that is one of the big secrets of her success.
'I get to know my clients well, I know what they like and need. My aim at Valerie’s Breast Care is to bring brightness and fashion into the lives of the women I meet. I want them to have a personal enjoyable experience and help them to feel and look beautiful.'
Valerie keeps up to date with all the different mastectomy brands and will ensure that you are 100% satisfied with your products. If you are based in the Mid West of Ireland you can make an appointment at Valerie's customised fitting room, in Limerick or avail of a free home visit anywhere in Limerick or the surrounding counties.
Simply call Valerie Murphy, Mastectomy Fit Specialist on 085 160 1783.
Alternatively ask about a fitting at your local cancer support centre.
Valerie's Breast Care is HSE registered and medical cards are accepted. Private Health Insurance is also accepted.