I’m honoured to introduce to you the woman behind the Heidi swing top. Meet Heidi Bauer: mom to two young boys, life partner with Joe, supportive breast cancer sister.

Heidi’s nomination

To name this new design, I decided to run a “Name the Swing Top” campaign. Friend and fellow breast cancer champion, Kristin Ratcliffe, nominated Heidi. Kristin felt Heidi exemplified these words by Roshi Joan Halifax and Brené Brown: “Strong back, Soft front, Wild heart”. Heidi’s cancer sisters came out in droves to support her nomination.

Ellen wrote, “If Heidi were a fabric, she’d be bamboo. Versatile, strong and resilient, with a beautifully soft side you quickly find once you get in a little closer. Heidi has my vote for this bold piece!”.

Vesna wrote, “Eat the cheese!!” Heidi once called out in one of our support groups and her place as the voice of reason and joy was solidified in the OMG group of young(ish) women diagnosed with breast cancer. Heidi’s zest for life is contagious and her support unwavering for anyone diagnosed with breast cancer”.

Heidi with the OMG group, her breast canceer sister

Heidi with her breast cancer sisters

Heidi’s story

Heidi, herself, was diagnosed with locally advanced Triple Negative Breast cancer in late 2012. She was 38 years young with an 18 month old at home. She has enjoyed NED (no evidence of disease) status since May 2013.

In 2017, she chose to do a delayed DIEP reconstruction. Although recovery was complicated and wound healing lengthy, Heidi and Joe were thrilled to find themselves expecting their second son born in early 2019.

Joe with the boys

Joe and the boys

Living through the pandemic

A family of self employed individuals, they’re grateful to have been able to work and earn a living throughout the pandemic. Heidi is a Registered Massage Therapist and Joe is a retail store owner of B-Sharp Ottawa.

Heidi is proud of how they’ve been able to pivot and go with the flow. They’ve balanced family needs and pandemic limitations throughout. She would be lying if she hadn’t reflected often on the life skills she learned during treatment. Patient, realistic expectations and staying open minded weren’t attributes she could have showcased BC (before cancer).

Heidi Bauer

Going with the flow during the pandemic

Supporting the breast cancer community

Heidi maintains a strong cancer connection with the local Ottawa Monthly Gathering crew. And, she follows and supports the advocacy work of Rethink Breast Cancer, especially the awareness and progress being made for MBC (metastatic breast cancer).

Heidi’s experience with breast cancer is no longer in the forefront of her mind. But, she believes that being available as a support to the newly diagnosed, or as a friend to women living with metastatic progression, pays respect to her experience. It gives her cancer the positive spin she can use to live forward in a physically and mentally healthy kind of way.

Thank you, Heidi, for lending your name to the swing top and for being a steadfast support in the breast cancer community.

The Heidi swing top

Here’s the bamboo reversible swing top named after Heidi. I think the rich raspberry colour and the fun and flowy style reflects Heidi’s resilient, strong, and fun-loving personality to a T.

The woman behind the Heidi swing top by Colleen Kanna

Heidi reversible swing top

You can get the Heidi swing top and support the work of Rethink Breast Cancer. A percentage of sales is donated to their MBC work on an annual basis.

Shop the Heidi

Until next time,

~ Colleen

Colleen Kanna, Photo by Anna Epp Photography

I’m a recovering Chartered Accountant and Breast Cancer Champion turned Fashion Designer. My COKANNA Canadian-made bamboo clothing is all about comfort and style. Giving back to the community is important to me so I support Rethink Breast Cancer‘s metastatic breast cancer education, support, and advocacy work.