SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A local woman is using her battle with breast cancer to help other woman who have gone through similar experiences.
She designed a bathing suit in hopes of making survivors feel more comfortable.
Poway resident Dana Dinerman was not happy with the types of bathing suits on the market for woman who had a mastectomy, or scars, or who were not symmetrical.
Dinerman decided to do something about it even though she did not have a background in fashion.
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"I did not think I would ever be in this position at all. I think it's only fair that we have been through so much. We should feel like everybody else," said said.
In 2011, the new mom, who was just 34-years-old at the time, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"One day I was just at home. In fact, I was in my bathing suit and we were in the front yard sun bathing. I found a lump in my breast, my right breast. Initially, they thought it was just a clogged milk duct from breast feeding," she said.
In reality, the cancer was stage three and had spread to nine of her 14 lymph nodes.
Dana underwent a mastectomy, six months of chemo followed by radiation.
Towards the end of her first round of treatment, she faced a devastating setback. The cancer had returned, and this time, to her neck.
"We really thought I was in serious trouble," said Dana.
Dana triumphed and is now cancer free.
During her recovery, finding normalcy was not easy, especially when shopping for a swimsuit, one that could fit her breast prosthesis.
"I hunted. I went to department stores. They all said just pick a suit, who cares, you can sew a pocket in and call it a day. I'm like no, you don't understand. I'm not going to look right," she said.
Dana wound up buying a mastectomy suit. One she found to be outdated and uncomfortable.
That's what led to her new business venture, Hulabelle.
Hulabelle is named after her love of Hawaii and the bell given to her as she cheered on participants during a recent Komen Three-Day Walk.
"My neighbor came out and said - you can't hold signs. You need to ring bells. She gave me this bell and it had a hula dancer on top," said Dana.
Her line includes both a one and two piece designed to have full coverage, and two types of pockets. Fellow survivors helped her with the concept.
There is also a sheer top for more coverage. The designs are available at Hulabelle 's website.
In time, Dana plans to have more designs and color options, something she hopes woman everywhere can benefit from.
"I want woman to feel confident. I want them to feel like they're being thought of," she said.
The suits start at $150, and some of the proceeds will go towards the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
Interesting fact: some of the suits are named after Dana's friends, who like her are survivors.
NOTE: You can join CBS 8 in the fight against breast cancer during the month of November for the Race for the Cure on Sunday, November 1 and the 2015 San Diego 3-Day November 20 - 22.
Also, leave a message on the CBS 8 Breast Cancer Can't Stop San Diegans: Wall of Inspiration celebrating the survivors in your life or honoring your lost loved ones.