Ciara Donlon: Take Back Your Woman Power

July 6 - On The Dot

FIRST THOUGHT: Feeling Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Do you remember your first visible scar? I remember mine, back when I believed my skin would be blemish-free for, like, forever. Why wouldn’t it be? Now that I’m a grown woman, I laugh at my naivety before many tumbles and surgeries and teenage acne. One writer said the best kind of people have scars, while another said they show we’ve healed from some serious wounds, at least externally. Whatever’s got you hiding away today, I’m here to remind you that you’re beautiful and strong and you deserve to be seen!


We all know of someone who has or had breast cancer. That’s a sad reality but so true, with millions of women battling the disease every day. According to the Susan G. Komen organization, in 2012, the most recent data available, more than 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer occurred among women worldwide.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Ciara Donlon, Founder and CEO of Theya Healthcare

The treatment plan for breast cancer or any frightening, life-threatening disease is comprehensive. From testing to surgery to recovery to medication, women often find themselves feeling more like science experiments than strong human beings. But if there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that breast-cancer survivors are some seriously badass ladies, so how can we ensure these women feel that way beyond remission? It starts with compassion and understanding, two characteristics today’s Woman to Watch, Ciara Donlon, exemplifies.

A longtime businesswoman, Ciara opened an elegant lingerie shop in Dublin, Ireland, in 2010, and often spoke to breast-cancer survivors who were on the hunt for comfortable and feminine postsurgery bras. She was shocked when she discovered there simply wasn’t much on the market for these women. Touched by these survivors’ stories and dedicated to finding a solution, Ciara became motivated to create her own line of postsurgery undergarments. While the focus of recovery is quite physical, Ciara knew that making women feel good was just as essential.

And having experienced the trauma associated with breast cancer when her beloved grandmother had to undergo a double mastectomy, Ciara was more determined than ever to make a difference, however minimal, in the lives of breast-cancer survivors.

After obtaining much feedback from health-care professionals and 80 breast-cancer survivors, Ciara launched Theya Healthcare, a lingerie company named for the Hindu goddess of power that creates products specifically for women going through treatment and recovering from surgery. Here’s the genius science behind Ciara’s amazing line: Her products are made with a unique and environmentally friendly bamboo fabric mix that’s proven to provide antibacterial protection at surgical sites and has properties that are proven to support healing.

Theya Healthcare lingerie also features horizontal wicking, a must for excessive perspiration following surgery or during treatment. Front-fastening bras are seamless and have no tags or wires, so there’s nothing to agitate scars or wounds. Multiple hooks and adjustments can be made based on swelling, and prostheses can even be inserted into the inside pockets. Theya Healthcare’s support briefs provide similar thoughtful details and are ideal for women recovering from reconstructive surgery or a cesarean section.

Ciara’s products have been life-changing for many women. She was even granted a 2017 Cartier Women’s Initiative Award, beating out nearly 2,000 applicants from more than 120 countries.

We thank Ciara for not only filling a need for breast-cancer survivors and women everywhere, but also for employing her smarts and determination to shine a light on an issue so long ignored.

Confidence is pivotal to success in any career, whether you’re running your own business or gunning for a top executive position. Here are our five tips for feeling comfortable in your skin so you radiate with confidence when it matters most. To learn more, click here or head to


Helen Keller always shared the best bits of wisdom, including this quote that we’d like to dedicate to all women battling breast cancer:

“Life has two rules: Number 1, never quit. Number 2, always remember rule Number 1.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

Headshot by Richie Stokes.

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