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Meet Our Models: Maxine Valiquette

Meet Our Models: Maxine

Maxine is the inspiration for our latest design…the Maxine reversible pull-on tank top. What drew us to Maxine is her comfort and ease with her body. She is content in her own skin. Despite having had a bilateral mastectomy, Maxine doesn’t feel the need to have reconstruction surgery. We know “never say never”, but she doesn’t see it in her future, at least not right now. She doesn’t feel the need to wear prosthetic breasts either. We think that is wonderful. It’s not to say, there is anything wrong with having reconstruction surgery or wearing prostheses. It is a very personal choice. There is no right or wrong. It’s doing what feels right for you. And that is the beauty of Maxine. She is okay being flat chested. She is "living flat" and it feels right for her. It's who she is. We love that. In this world of impossible beauty ideals, it is uplifting and encouraging for all of us. We think you’ll agree that Maxine looks fabuous!

Maxine in the Maxine reversible tank

Maxine is the mother of amazing 19 year old twin girls. She has been married to her husband, Robert, for 22 years. She describes Robert as her “twin flame”. What a warm and loving image that brings to mind.

During a monthly self-examination, Maxine found a lump in her breast. That was May 2015. Further tests revealed a second lump in her other breast. Both were aggressive, stage 2/3 breast cancer. While going through a bilateral mastectomy, Maxine discovered the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC) and joined the Babes4Breasts Head Start program. This is a wonderfully supportive program for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. It helps them through that dark and scary and confusing time, after initial diagnosis. A time when you are waiting…and waiting…on test results…on medical appointments…on starting treatment. It is excruciating.

Maxine integrated complementary cancer care at the OICC right alongside her conventional treatments of surgery, chemotherapy, Herceptin (a drug for HER2-positive breast cancer), and radiation. She participated in our first “Forget for a Moment” Makeover event last February while she was still undergoing radiation.

Maxine at Forget for a Moment Makeover  Maxine portrait

Now 18 months later, Maxine is out of the conventional medicine and continues on with complementary care so she can truly start healing her mind, body and spirit from the trauma of cancer.

Maxine in yoga pose

Maxine enjoys nature walking, kayaking, reading, and traveling/camping across Canada in her family’s RV, and oh yeah, sewing costumes. What fun! Maxine grew up admiring her mother’s talent for art and sewing haute couture. She passed on to Maxine an eye for quality sewing and professional finishes in clothing design. This is something Maxine has found in the coKANna line.

Maxine, we take that as the highest compliment of our work. We are doing the job we set out to do. We love having Maxine’s positive and calming energy in the coKANna community. It is an honour to have her lend her name to our latest design. Thank you, Maxine.

coKANna Designs donates 5 percent of annual sales to the OICC’s Babes4Breasts Head Start Program.

If you would like to donate to the OICC directly, please click on: OICC Donation 



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