SINCE Gillian Horton told “CityNews” in August about her journey collecting and donating breast forms and post-mastectomy bras to women who need them in Fiji, she’s been overwhelmed by donations.
Just last week, she says two women came into her Garran lingerie shop to donate bras inspired by the article. And although she’s amassed four large boxes of donated post-surgery and normal bras, she says she wants to keep sending more to Fiji.
“I’ll be asking for donations for as long as there’s still a need,” she says.
Gillian says the phenomenal response she’s received from women around the region has meant a lot for the women in Fiji.
“I’ve had so many women coming in to donate their bras and women coming in to purchase post-surgery bras and then donate them,” she says.
“Ladies would come in and say: ‘I don’t have bras to donate’ and would buy some to donate.
“It’s really making a huge difference, directly from Canberra.”
When Gillian was last in Fiji she spent the day with the Fiji Cancer Society and saw a woman who she had fitted with a post-surgical bra on a previous trip.
“When she saw me she threw her arms around me and said: ‘You are an angel, I just feel so normal and want to thank the women of Australia’,” she says.
During that trip, Gillian also saw a need for maternity bras and is now calling on locals to donate used and new maternity bras so she can send them to Fiji, too.
“So many women in Fiji don’t have bras that fit, so when you have a clean up, it’s great to know they’re going to someone who really appreciates it,” she says.
Gillian is hoping to return to Fiji in February which, as long as the need for post-surgical bras remains, won’t be her last.
“I’m just really passionate to continue the service however I can,” she says.
“At the moment the Fiji Cancer Council would like to be able to purchase radiation equipment but until that time women will continue to have mastectomies and therefore will still need breast forms and post-surgery bras.”