Meet Stori: Survivor, Mom of Three, Self-Love Superhero
This year, we had the opportunity to partner with the amazing bra company, True&Co. Through this partnership, we have been able to speak and connect with some truly incredible survivors, like Stori Nagel, who you know from Haus of Volta. Stori started Haus of Volta and long with her husband to "help young people affected by breast cancer to feel beautiful in their bodies and live mindfully after treatment". Haus of Volta is a seriously unique and incredible space for survivors to heal and connect to themselves and their bodies "regardless of conformity" to traditional beauty standards.
Clearly, we think Stori is inspiring and incredible! Get to know more about her below!
If you were an animal, what would you be?
That’s easy, a Thylacine or Plesiosaurus
When was your diagnosis and how old were you?
How did you find out you had breast cancer?
I had a lump in my right breast the size of a baked potato.
Who was the first person you confide in about your illness?
My husband and then my three children.
Tell us something about yourself that people probably don’t know?
I am obsessed with science. I also love conspiracy theories; I don’t invest in them, but they are just so intriguing.
After your treatment, what do you now make time for in your day?
I have to make time to pray. I center myself, pray, light incense and let scripture soothe my heart.
What advice would you give to someone recently diagnosed?
Don’t look too far down the road, just look at what’s right ahead of you, it’s overwhelming to climb Everest in one breath.
Find who will hold space for you, and forgive those who can’t.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
God made you a unicorn quit trying to put yourself in the horse stable.
What was the toughest challenge you faced?
Being high estrogen, I have a very low sex drive. Estrogen supressors changed that but gave me uterine and cervical cancer in exchange. I mourn for those two years. I was the dream-wife, but at the same time, it was quietly killing me.
When do you laugh the most?
I am always laughing, probably too much. I find everything, from the way my dog sleeps to the daily-people-watching-fashion-show, worth a chuckle. Using my wardrobe to contrast my ever pondering mind probably makes me laugh the most. “I’ll wear this shirt with these shoes...” I say it’s what keeps me young, being ridiculous.
If you could go back in time to any event, what would it be?
Could you ask a girl a more intense thing? Let’s see. What’s kicking around my head right now is the fall of the Berlin Wall. Oppression just rubs me so raw; I bet it was as beautiful and most triumphant a thing as a person could witness. I have an old t-shirt from that day, it’s one of my most prized possessions.
If you could travel anywhere where would it be and why?
Right now I want to go to New Caledonia, a small island in the Pacific island chain near Vanuatu. My best friend lives there, her daughter, my god-daughter Gigi, is coming to visit us for a month and I am so over the moon to see her. But what would be really beautiful is to be able to go there and embrace my friend after 22 years… and take in the beautiful island life.
What made you interested in True&Co.?
Having breast reconstruction after a double mastectomy creates special challenges. I have one side that has failed reconstruction several times and needs support, and the other doesn’t. I also have four port scars altogether, right where a bra band would lay. I want something that supports and doesn’t hurt. That is where True & Co. ticks all the boxes.
How would you describe your comfort in the True Body + Front Closure Bra and how does it compare to other bras in its category?
I’d say it was as soft as butter! It holds the problem breast perfectly while not being constrictive on the right breast. The gentle nature is kind to my port scars, and it feels as if you are just in your birthday suit.
The big difference in comparison is that the straps are wider and softer, no digging in or sliding off, and a much better feeling of being without a bra. Which is the biggest selling point to me, having had worn a battleship bra before mastectomy. I am happy to wear one that’s more like a butterfly.
"Don’t look too far down the road, just look at what’s right ahead of you, it’s overwhelming to climb Everest in one breath. Find who will hold space for you, and forgive those who can’t." - Stori Nagel