Dana Donofree’s life changed forever when she received a breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 28. The subsequent treatments and surgeries, along with the emotional toll of adjusting to her new body, left her feeling lost and disconnected. However, out of this struggle emerged a powerful mission – to create intimate apparel that would make breast cancer survivors feel beautiful, confident, and supported.
Donofree had always been passionate about fashion and had dreamt of becoming a designer since she was a child. Despite facing doubts and discouragement, she pursued her dream and achieved success. But it was her personal experience with breast cancer that ignited her desire to design clothing specifically for women who had undergone breast surgery.
Using her fashion design background from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Donofree launched AnaOno in 2014. This groundbreaking line of intimate apparel is dedicated to post-breast surgery women, offering a variety of bras tailored to different types of reconstructions. The name AnaOno itself cleverly combines Donofree’s name with breast reconstruction surgery.
Donofree’s own journey to recovery was not without challenges. After a successful reconstruction, she decided to explore newer surgical options a decade later. It was during this time that she met Dr. Ron Israeli, her revision surgeon, at her New York Fashion Week show. Together, they embarked on a personal journey to enhance her recovery and strengthen her chest.
Dr. Israeli applauds Donofree’s unwavering commitment to empowering women facing breast cancer through her work and advocacy. They collaborated on a breast reconstruction project called Project Restored, which utilized photography and sculpture to showcase the beauty of reconstructed breasts.
The impact of Donofree’s work is best exemplified through the stories of the women she has touched. One woman, after trying on one of Donofree’s bras, tearfully expressed that it was the first time she felt beautiful since her surgery. These moments serve as a driving force for Donofree, reminding her that even a small item like a well-designed bra can make a world of difference.
The profound impact of thoughtfully designed products for breast cancer survivors is evident in Donofree’s work. Her journey from a young cancer patient to a successful fashion designer is a testament to resilience, innovation, and compassion for women recovering from breast cancer. Through AnaOno, she continues to make a lasting impact on the lives of breast cancer survivors, helping them regain their confidence and embrace their new bodies.