"I have learned that you can move forward when driven by the heart, even if you are filled with sadness" – Liz Taylor-Barry
My husband, Al Barry, had an accidental bump on the head and twenty-four hours later, I stood helplessly in the hospital parking lot as I watched him being urgently rushed into a helicopter for transport to another hospital. Like many faced with the initial shock of bleeding from the brain and the “word” cancer, we did not know where to turn. It was all so matter of fact — being told a few days later that Al had four to nine months to live without a miracle. He was determined to ﬁght the inoperable stage 4 brain cancer (Glioblastoma) with radiation, chemo and Faith. I was determined that he would get the best of care at home, be as comfortable as possible, be consoled through words of hope and prayer, and be able to laugh, love and maintain his dignity among our children, grandchildren and friends.
We lost our twelve month battle although God gave us a very special year. Following the Full Honors ceremony by the U.S. Marine Corps at Arlington National Cemetery, I felt compelled to honor his memory, his love of life, family, friends, Country and the Marine Corps. But most important, I had a great desire to honor one of his wishes... that I find a way to give back to others for all those who gave so much to us during his yearlong treatments and hospice care.
I looked back to determine what we needed most during Al’s care. It was clothing — something easy to change but not a hospital gown. Research with health care professionals, patients and caregivers, led me to design a line of modular medical apparel that would be beneficial to patient and caregivers. A great friend, Diane Chase; the SC Women’s Business Center (SBA sponsored program); U.S. manufacturers and vendors, and Clemson Apparel Research helped me take an idea and make it a real product.
The first production of modular medical apparel was dedicated to Wounded Warriors at a reception on December 2, 2008, in Washington, D.C. Since that date, the apparel has been gifted to wounded warriors receiving treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany, and across the U.S. As well, during apparel testing, it has been worn by patients recovering from joint surgeries or broken/injured limbs; breast surgery; other critical surgeries; rehabilitation therapy; and hospice. The apparel has been well received by all patients in all health care I settings. In 2012, the Foundation expanded its reach in service to cancer patients, hospice patients and patients with major mobility challenges.
The modular apparel is U.S. Made with U.S. products and services. This web site gives you a glimpse of the apparel’s special features and flexibility at the About Apparel page. It may be worn in bed or to public places allowing a patient to go from bed to treatment locations without the necessity of changing clothes. Nurses and doctors are able to examine the body without the necessity of undressing in most cases. The fabrics are selected for comfort with moisture management and anti-microbial features. Clemson Apparel Research has played a key role in apparel development and manufacturing. Retail purchases are available at www.barrybasics.com.