In January of 2008 I learned of kidney disease, and inconsequently, dialysis for the first time. By February, I knew it all too well. My mom had been put into the hospital, and ultimately, put on dialysis because of sudden loss of kidney function for unknown reasons. It was scary and sad, and ultimately I wanted to help in whatever way possible. I wasn’t sure what to say or do. It was new to us all, and being away from her at school was harder than I had imagined.
From that day on our lives were changed, hers especially, with dialysis treatments three times a week for up to four hours at a time. She had to retire from teaching after 28 years so she could make her treatments and her life suddenly revolved around this disease and the discomfort of treatments that came along with it. People always say “Let me know if I can do anything to help,” but what can we really do if we’re not in the medical field? Offer kind and compassionate words, support them in whatever way possible? It wasn’t enough for me.
I struggled realizing how hard things were for her. She didn’t have the freedom she once had and now relied on a machine in order to stay alive and healthy. Daily tasks now put her on the brink of exhaustion, and it was hard for us all to realize that this disease was taking a bigger toll on her than we had originally anticipated.
In the Fall of 2008, I was a senior at Miami University minoring in Entrepreneurship and was looking for an idea to pitch to the class for our semester long project. I called my mom to ask how her day had been and realized that I was hearing the same problem over and over, “I’m so cold during treatment and I can’t cover up with a blanket, so I’ve been cutting holes in my old sweatshirts to wear. It’s pretty ugly but it keeps me warm!” Then a light bulb came on. Why should she have to sacrifice style and dignity just to stay warm for treatments?
That is when Libre was born, and there was no turning back. Myself, and three others (Mandy Eckman, Tess Schuster, and Bethany Skaff) forged ahead during our class project, winning the business competition at the end of the semester and vowing that this was what we wanted to pursue after graduation the following spring. That next semester we worked with professors to raise capital and research manufacturing to get things in place. In March of 2009 we became Libre, LLC!
Libre is a clothing line made specifically for chemotherapy, dialysis, and other infusion patients. Our clothing is an everyday staple in anyone’s wardrobe, but has discreet areas of access specifically for a patient’s treatment site. The clothing keeps the patient covered and warm while keeping the treatment site accessible, and visible, for nurses. Zip it open when you’re at treatment, and zip it up when you’re done.
I was not the only with personal ties to the disease through my mother; all four of us were connected to these diseases in one way, shape, or form. Our passion for Libre is driven by helping those we love, our very supportive customers, and all of those patients out there who can benefit from our products. “Libre” means free and open in many languages, it’s our goal to make patients days a little more Libre!
I’m happy to say that my mother was blessed enough to receive a kidney transplant from my best friend in December of 2010. it was an amazing and scary time in my family’s life, but knowing the new life, and freedom, my mom would gain was worth it.
As you can see, resources and support were a huge part of this process and having a place to go, such as TreatmentDiaries.com, would have been so beneficial for my mother and family. Knowing what to expect, and receiving support from those who have been through this first hand is something that everyone deserves to be aware of and be a part of.
Thank you again to Amy for giving me the opportunity to tell my story and more about Libre! We love what Amy and Treatment Diaries represent and we’re very excited to be working closely with her to bring positiveness Libre Testimonials, support, resources, and more to those who are willing to connect and help each other. deserves, to make their time through whatever illness that much more bearable.
*You can contact us at Info@LibreClothing.com, or go to our website www.LibreClothing.com