After graduating from Johns Hopkins Medical School in 1993, Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson began devoting herself to taking care of women. When her mother developed breast cancer, Elizabeth decided to focus her career on this specific disease, and during her residency also obtained a Masters Degree in Public Health from Harvard.
Elizabeth worked as a Radiation Oncologist while raising her four children. With the support of her husband, she continued to pursue her love of sports (marathon running, open water swimming, tennis and golf) while balancing her career and family.
In 2006, after years of breast surveillance, biopsies, and endless consultations with genetic counselors, Elizabeth underwent prophylactic mastectomies. The experience of recovering from this surgery and the interactions with her physicians led her to begin working in the reconstructive surgery practice, helping other women with the difficult decision-making and recovery from breast surgery.
As an athlete, physician and mother, Elizabeth felt that while the surgeries and radiation treatment for breast cancer have rapidly evolved (in some cases even been revolutionized), however, the garments she could offer to her patients undergoing radiation therapy and surgery were designed in the 1970s, for patients undergoing surgeries of the past.
Also, patients were concerned and confused about their surgeries: “What should I bring to the hospital? Why does this surgical bra hit just where my drains exit? What bra should I wear after my surgery to maximize the cosmetic outcome? When can I begin to exercise again?”
Elizabeth decided to design a fashionable line of bags, bras and surgical accessories for the modern age of breast treatment. Armed with scissors, needle and thread, Elizabeth cut and sewed bras together to meet the needs of the 21st century patient, and BFFL Co was born!
The and axilla•pilla were launched in 2011 to enhance the breast cancer patient experience. Elizabeth and her best friend, Sara Kerr Reges, RN, then created the for patients recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury, Brain Trauma, ConNeuro/Brain BFFLBag cussion, Brain Tumors and Stroke. She continued to expand her line with additional recovery kits full of helpful products – many of which patients may forget – to provide comfort, convenience and caring for men and women before chemotherapy treatment, cancer surgery, transplant surgery and childbirth. The products are presented in high-quality, brightly-colored reusable canvas duffel bags is to help keep patients’ spirits high, and are spacious enough to hold clothing and other personal items. Additionally, BFFLco.com offers practical tip sheets about chemotherapy, drain care after breast surgery, and much more empowering information for both patients and caregivers.
BFFLCoBags have appeared in magazines such as Shape, Pregnancy, Women’s Health, Essence and other leading print publications, and the Mommy/Delivery Bag won the 2013 About.com Readers’ Choice award.