Artist inspired to design clothing for cancer survivors

Survivors thrilled with fit, design of clothing created especially for them; Helps them cope with body image

Maria Chaverri never intended to express her art through clothing, but a group of women changed her mind.

"For me, it really has to do with meeting the great women that wear them," said Chaverri.

Chaverri met a group of women who survived cancer and had a chance to design clothing for them. She said clothing after cancer can bring back painful memories and clothes rarely fit.

Molly Ross, co-founder of Shout, an organization for young cancer survivors, was one of the survivors Chaverri met. Ross had a double mastectomy after finding a lump in her breast.

"From that moment on, my life and world changed forever in a split second," said Ross.

Chaverri spent time creating a dress with a style that specifically fits Ross.

"Molly is a total powerhouse," Chaverri said. "She just makes things happen and is a lot of fun."

Chaverri said clothing after cancer tends to bring back negative memories and often times, clothes don't fit.

"She's designed some beautiful dresses that fit our bodies and that just mean so much to us survivors," said Ross.

Ross said that many cancer survivors have a rough time dealing with their body image, especially younger women.

"When I can take the anxiety from getting dressed away and see that and I hear that from them, it is probably the most rewarding thing as a designer," Chaverri said.

Chaverri is a custom clothing designer based in Oklahoma City, Okla. She studied fiber arts and experimental fashion at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

For more information on her designs, click here.

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