5 Brands Offering Comfortable Port Access Shirts and Jackets
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or a chronic condition that requires regular infusions, then you are likely all too familiar with ports. Ports are nickel or quarter-sized implants that act like artificial veins for tubes or catheters to administer IV medication and fluids, to draw blood or to deliver chemo.
Ports can be uncomfortable and may cause pain, infections, blood clots and leaks. Because they are surgically implanted below the collarbone, changing your clothes can puncture or move the tube and regular shirts can be a pain if you’re having your port removed or changed.
We found a few cool companies that offer special shirts and jackets for anyone looking for comfort and convenience with their ports.
When Laura Buckman’s two-and-a-half year old son was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of blood cancer that can spread to the brain and spinal cord, she noticed how much he dreaded hospital visits because of the difficulty doctors had accessing his port. She knew there had to be a better to do it, so she created the Zipport shirt.
Although initially created with a child mind, the shirts also come in adult sizes and various colors. For every shirt purchased, the Kansas City, Missouri-based company donates a shirt to a child in need.
Buy the Youth Short Sleeve Zipper Shirt for $25.
2. Dress With Ease
The motto of this Las Vegas-based Etsy shop is: “Adaptive clothing for easy, pain-free dressing.” From open-shouldered dresses and side-open pants to open-back jumpsuits, DressWithEase has a little bit of everything for those undergoing treatment or living with a disability.
All of the items are handmade and come in a variety of colors and styles, and the open port thermal shirts are especially warm and comfortable for those visits to a cold hospital room.
Buy the Open Port Thermal Shirt for $40.
3. Care + Wear
Based in New York, Care+Wear was created in 2014 after founders Chaitenya Razdan and Susan Jones noticed a friend having trouble with his PICC line during chemotherapy. It was uncomfortable, ugly and just plain difficult to put a sock over his tubes, so Razdan and Jones recognized an opportunity to design something that could help all PICC-wearing patients. They collaborated with patients and healthcare professionals to create the PICC Line Cover, and soon Chest Access Shirts for those with ports followed.
The shirts come in both adult and children sizes, and kids can even get a cool lightning bolt on their shirt.
Buy the Rock CF Bolt Chest Access Kids Tee Shirt for $40.
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Ronwear was created by seamstress Deb Papes-Stanzak in 2004, in response to four family members receiving infusion and dialysis treatments. One of them happened to be her brother Ron, who had a few complaints about his time in dialysis: he was tired of wearing short-sleeve shirts to accommodate his ports, staying warm with blankets was a hassle and hospital gowns were embarrassing to wear. Luckily Papes-Stanzak was a seamstress, so she sewed together the first jacket for Ron and the rest is history.
All of the Ronwear jackets feature four zippered pockets, companion port-able pants and an integrated media pocket.
Buy the Women’s Classic Ron Jacket for $69.
“What if there were garments purposely designed to make these treatments more dignified, comfortable and convenient?”
That’s the philosophy behind the Etsy shop One Day Apparel, which was created by the family members of a woman named Barbara who had this “Aha” moment during her cancer treatment. Although she lost her fight against the disease, her family wanted to keep her dream of helping others touched by cancer alive, so they designed these specialty shirts specifically for people undergoing chemo.
The shirts are designed for both men and women, with the chest zipper available on the right or left and a sleeve zipper on one arm. All sales are donated directly to cancer research.
Buy the Specialty Sweater for Chemo Patients for $58.95.
Do you know of a port access shirt company not listed here? Share it in the comments below.