Infinite Strength, A Non-Profit for Breast Cancer Patients
A breast cancer diagnosis is not something that people plan for. “You don’t think it will happen to you,” says Roberta Lombardi, founder of Infinite Beauty and breast cancer survivor. Her world was rocked by her own diagnosis two years ago, and now she has set out to lessen the burden that other women in the same position face.
Her efforts are two-pronged. We have already introduced you to the Felicia Bra—a garment that she specifically designed to help women who have undergone breast reconstruction feel and look beautiful. To complement that, she started a non-profit foundation that raises money to be used for things not covered by insurance. Together, her work strives to empower women affected by breast cancer through every step of the way.
A Non-Profit Starts: Infinite Strength
“You don’t need financial problems as well that hinder you from healing and taking care of yourself the right way”
Before the Felicia bra was completed, Roberta launched Infinite Strength in an effort to aid cancer patients financially. She had the idea for the bra first, but during the development process decided to host a fundraising event to benefit the local hospital where she was treated.
“That event turned into an ongoing thing,” says Roberta. “We launched Infinite Strength as an non-profit, and we donated all of the money from the event to the hospital to fund cool caps for scalp cooling and basic human needs.”
Her main goal with the non-profit is simple: “Trying not to have patients hit rock bottom,” she says. Funds collected by Infinite Strength currently help to cover medical and life expenses that are not covered by insurance for women at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale.
For example, Roberta points out how quickly costs can add up when you factor in hospital parking and childcare. Positivity is important for women going through treatment, Roberta says and she doesn’t want financial worries to have an effect on anyone’s outcome.
“There is an emotional onslaught you go through after a diagnosis,” she says. “You don’t need financial problems as well that hinder you from healing and taking care of yourself the right way. That’s what we try to alleviate—so that when you’re done you can put your life back together without being buried in debt.”
Infinite Strength holds two events per year—a dinner reception in the spring and a hoedown in the fall. This year, the Infinite Strength spring event will include a full live auction as well as dinner and dancing.
While proceeds from the events and donations solicited through the website currently go to Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale, Roberta has been exploring potential partnerships with other hospitals and looks to grow her outreach in 2019.
A Source of Empowerment: Infinite Beauty
“I want to feel the way I used to. I want to feel pretty again.”
While Infinite Strength was founded as a way to keep breast cancer patients from hitting rock bottom, Infinite Beauty is how Roberta helps raise survivors up.
She designed and developed the Felicia bra, a now patent-pending bra under the brand Infinite Beauty as a tool to empower women who were struggling to find a sense of normalcy after cancer treatments.
“People don’t realize what breast cancer does to a women’s emotions and psyche,” she says. “You lose your hair and your breasts and have big slashes across your breast as a constant reminder. I want to feel the way I used to. I want to feel pretty again.”
The bra also has a very important function—providing warmth. After her own reconstruction surgery, Roberta noticed that her implants would shake and spasm in the cold. She could not find what she needed on the market so got to work on her own design. The result is the Felicia Bra—it features soft, supportive cups lined with neoprene that provide warmth.
The style of the bra was very important to Roberta, who struggled to feel sexy and beautiful in medical-grade mastectomy bras. The style she designed features an underwire and is lined on the outside with a soft lace. Her first style comes in nude and black, and now nude with blush lace. It can be purchased online at https://www.infinitebeauty.boutique/shop/.
The Felicia bra is also now available in D cups, and Roberta has plans to introduce a bralette next.
Roberta was never expecting to launch her own business, let alone two with a focus on empowering women going through cancer treatments. However, calling on her own inner strength allowed her to grow two brands that share the same powerful message. “Be strong, be positive and see the beauty in yourself,” she says, “knowing that you are worth it and you can overcome anything.”