Sport bras

These are some of the bras you can buy to provide you with differing levels of support while exercising:

You need to make sure that you match the level of support provided by the bra to the activities you will be doing when wearing it.

All are available to order, some may not be on bras4all – however they can still be ordered – contact your BraLady.

Any of these bras can be pocketed, for a prosthesis, if they do not have them already, at a small additional cost.

Anita Sports bra – 5521

Light & firm
Seamless cups, breathable, lightweight microfibre and the soft microfibre underbust band ensure maximum comfort. The adjustable comfort straps feature additional reinforcement on the shoulder.

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Sizes: 32A, 32B, 32C, 32D, 32E, 32F, 32G, 34A, 34B, 34C, 34D, 34E, 34F, 34G, 36A, 36B, 36C, 36D, 36E, 36F, 36G, 38A, 38B, 38C, 38D, 38E, 38F, 38G, 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D, 40E, 40F, 40G, 42A, 42B, 42C, 42D, 42E, 44A, 44B, 44C

Anita Sports bra – 5523

A sports and recreation bra which features seamless cups of lightweight microfibre.
The softly-lined front-fastener makes dressing and undressing simpler and quicker.
The wide straps with Velcro-type fasteners can also be easily adjusted as required during training.


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Sizes: 32A, 32B, 32C, 32D, 32E, 34A, 34B, 34C, 34D, 34E, 36A, 36B, 36C, 36D, 36E, 38A, 38B, 38C, 38D, 38E, 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D, 40E, 42A, 42B, 42C, 42D, 42E, 44A, 44B, 44C

Anita Sports bra – 5524

Unrestricted movement: This lightweight sports and leisure bra is made of breathable, antibacterial functional fabric and features net panels at the back. The diagonally sectioned cups are cut high at the neckline for firm support. The back fastener has four positions for maximum flexibility depending on the sporting intensity.

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Sizes: 32A, 32B, 32C, 32D, 32E, 34A, 34B, 34C, 34D, 34E, 36A, 36B, 36C, 36D, 36E, 38A, 38B, 38C, 38D, 38E, 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D, 40E, 42A, 42B, 42C, 42D, 42E

Anita Sports bra – 5527

Sporty style, extreme shaping function: High-support piqué fabric and net panels at the back regulate the moisture level and ensure that the skin remains dry. The side support function enhances the shape of the breast. The ergonomically tailored relief straps provide firm support. The seamless inner cup of microfibre towelling provides chafe-free support.

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Sizes: 30B, 30C, 30D, 30E, 30F, 30G, 30H, 32B, 32C, 32D, 32E, 32F, 32G, 32H, 34B, 34C, 34D, 34E, 34F, 34G, 34H, 36B, 36C, 36D, 36E, 36F, 36G, 36H, 38B, 38C, 38D, 38E, 38F, 38G, 38H, 40B, 40C, 40D, 40E, 40F, 40G, 40H, 42B, 42C, 42D, 42E, 42F, 42G, 42H, 44B, 44C, 44D, 44E, 44F, 44G, 46B, 46C, 44D,46E

Anita Sports bra – 5529

Maximum support with ultimate comfort: The breathable high-tech fabric ensures that the skin milieu is regulated, helping you improve your performance. This sports bra also minimises the movement of the breast and provides maximum support through to the large cup sizes.
The new, extremely flat seams and towelling-soft seamless cups pamper the body. Another advantage – the fully padded and adjustable support straps relieve strain on the neck.

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Sizes: 30B, 30C, 30D, 30E, 30F, 30G, 30H, 32A, 32B, 32C, 32D, 32E, 32F, 32G, 32H, 34A, 34B, 34C, 34D, 34E, 34F, 34G, 34H, 36A, 36B, 36C, 36D, 36E, 36F, 36G, 36H, 38A, 38B, 38C, 38D, 38E, 38F, 38G, 38H, 40A, 40B, 40C, 40D, 40E, 40F, 40G, 42A, 42B, 42C, 42D, 42E, 42F, 42G, 44A, 44B, 44C, 44D, 44E, 44F, 46B, 46C, 44D, 46E

Royce Impact Free S826

Maximum support sports bra
You can feel confident and comfortable with this Impact Free sports bra. Suitable for all sports and activities, this maximum support sports bra will help to reduce the bounce. Now available up to K cup.
Impact Free provides the base for your prefect workout kit. Featuring a wide underband for anchorage and a high neckline for added support. The Impact Free has a high cotton content, which helps to wick away perspiration, and has extra-strong padded straps for an ultra comfortable workout. It can even be worn as outerwear if you prefer. Fantastic support and comfort up to a K cup.
81% Polyester, 19% cotton

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Sizes: 28D, 28DD, 28E, 28F, 28FF, 28G, 28GG, 28H, 28HH, 28J, 30D, 30DD, 30E, 30F, 30FF, 30G, 30GG, 30H, 30HH, 30J, 30JJ, 30K, 32D, 32DD, 32E, 32F, 32FF, 32G, 32GG, 32H, 32HH, 32J, 32JJ, 32K, 34D, 34DD, 34E, 34F, 34FF, 34G, 34GG, 34H, 34HH, 34J, 34JJ, 34K, 36D, 36DD, 36E, 36F, 36FF, 36G, 36GG, 36H, 36HH, 36J, 36JJ, 36K, 38D, 38DD, 38E, 38F, 38FF, 38G, 38GG, 38H, 38HH, 38J, 38JJ, 40D, 40DD, 40E, 40F, 40FF, 40G, 40GG, 40H, 40HH, 40J

Royce Impact Free S925

Maximum support sports bra
You can feel confident and comfortable with this Impact Free sports bra. Suitable for all sports and activities, this maximum support sports bra will help to reduce the bounce. Now available up to K cup.
Impact Free provides the base for your perfect workout kit. Featuring a wide underband for anchorage and a high neckline for added support. The Impact Free has a high cotton content, which helps to wick away perspiration, and has extra-strong padded straps for an ultra comfortable workout. It can even be worn as outerwear if you prefer. Fantastic support and comfort up to a K cup.
81% Polyester, 19% cotton

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Sizes: 28D, 28DD, 28E, 28F, 28FF, 28G, 28GG, 28H, 28HH, 28J, 30D, 30DD, 30E, 30F, 30FF, 30G, 30GG, 30H, 30HH, 30J, 30JJ, 30K, 32D, 32DD, 32E, 32F, 32FF, 32G, 32GG, 32H, 32HH, 32J, 32JJ, 32K, 34D, 34DD, 34E, 34F, 34FF, 34G, 34GG, 34H, 34HH, 34J, 34JJ, 34K, 36D, 36DD, 36E, 36F, 36FF, 36G, 36GG, 36H, 36HH, 36J, 36JJ, 36K, 38D, 38DD, 38E, 38F, 38FF, 38G, 38GG, 38H, 38HH, 38J, 38JJ, 40D, 40DD, 40E, 40F, 40FF, 40G, 40GG, 40H, 40HH, 40J

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Fitting guidelines for individuals who wish they had breasts

Enhancement

Not everyone was born with the look that they want. And some like to enhance or change their appearance from time to time. This post aims to help those who need to know more about choosing a bra to enhance their bust.

Size

Take an underband measurement around the torso at the point where a bra-band sits (approximately mid way between the underarm and the bottom of the ribs). Keep the measure horizontal and very firm while taking this measurement. This is the “starting point” for a bra size. Round up to an even number (if odd) to find the bra size. The cup size will depend on the amount of padding used to fill the cup.

Fit

Try the bra on. Fasten the bra on the loosest eye possible. Ensure that the band is straight across the back and not riding up. To check the fit of the bra start by ensuring that the band/wire is placed directly against the chest wall. Moving to the back check the firmness of the band by putting two fingers under the band and pulling gently. There should be no more than 1cm of movement of the band away from the back. Shoulder straps should be firm, not too tight, not too loose. Side seams should be centered under the armpit, if they are forward you need a larger cup, if they are backward you need a smaller cup. Where the cup sits under the arm, if it is too high choose a smaller cup, likewise if it is too low choose a larger cup.

Comfort

How a bra fits and the style of the bra affect the comfort of the bra. The most common bra styles are:-

Balconette (balcony) –

covers 50-75% of a full cup style bra, the straps are usually wider set on the shoulders, so for those with narrow or sloping shoulders the style won’t be suitable

Full cup –

great for larger, fuller breasts. The cup encloses the entire breast giving all found support. Straps fit above the middle of the breast.

Minimiser –

redistributes the breast across the chest wall, making the breasts flatter.

Moulded –

gives a smooth look under clothing. The seamless cups are moulded into a rigid shape which produces a more symmetrical appearance. They also add a layer of padding to the overall look and size.

Padded –

have padding in the cup to give extra shape. The padding may be across the whole of the breast, or just in selected zones to give extra shaping, e.g. push up effect. Some have removeable padding, so you can choose when to use the extra padding, depending on what you’re wearing and how you want to look.

Plunge –

this is where the bra cups meet at the band of the bra, below the nipple area, rather than higher up. These bras are ideal for wearing with low cut tops, with many styles designed to give maximum cleavage. This style of bra is not designed for maximum support or security.

T-shirt –

these give a smooth shape under t-shirts. They are generally either moulded, or padded, as described above, but are always seamless.

Sport –

these are designed to stop breasts from bouncing during exercise. There are different types of sports bra, some use compression, others use firm fabric and structure to give support.

Soft cup –

these are bras without any wires. They use the structure of the bra, usually with the fabric and where the seams are created, to give the support and shape. There are many excellent soft cup bras, some that are light to medium support and others more supportive and fuller in the cup

Multiway –

these have straps that can be used under all sorts of outfits. Not common in larger cup sizes due to the lack of support for fuller breasts without the shoulder straps and a fuller cup. If you have a favourite bra, it is possible to attach an extra strap to the existing bra band to extend it into a backless bra.

Availability

Take a look at the soft cup and mastectomy bras available at bras4all. Soft cup bras are structured and crafted to support the breast without the use of wires. Mastectomy bras have a lining or pocket built into the bra, into which a breast form or prosthesis can be inserted. The pocket holds the prosthesis in place within the bra so that the wearer doesn’t have to worry about it moving out of place or coming out of the bra. Both of these styles are available from bras4all.

If you use the code YO11JSP you will receive your order post free and I will receive a small commission as a thank you for directing you to the site.

Look

How you look in your bra depends on the style you choose. Different styles give different shapes and will suit some outfits better than others. You may also find some bra accessories helpful in achieving your desired look. You can see what sort of accessories are available in my other post on this blog… Useful accessories for bras

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Teen bras

Working in a school full-time I see young girls of all ages, shapes and sizes. A quick search on the Internet will also tell anyone who wants to know, that young girls are very much affected by the size, shape and development (or not) of their breasts. And as many parents of these young girls do not know how to help them with deciding when to start wearing a bra or how to select an appropriate size and style to ensure health and comfort, they may go through life wearing inappropriate or even unhealthy (for their body) styles or sizes of bra!

Any incidents at this age can affect a young woman for the rest of her life. I have spoken to ladies who have been profoundly affected by comments overheard at the age of 12, who to this day are still living with the memory of how those comment affected them! Such comments can so adversely affect a young woman that her self-esteem can be totally destroyed for life!
It is so important for young women to know that their body is normal and totally unique to them. It doesn’t matter that their friend may be “body beautiful”‘ they too have their own beauty!

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Useful accessories for bras

Bra Extender

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Bra ball or bra saver wash bag (for washing your precious bras)

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Delicate items wash powder

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Did I say bra extender

There will be days when you need a little relief due to your monthly cycle or other natural variations in your size

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Magic clip to get a racing back when you need it

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Comfy straps for tender shoulders

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Lace illusion cover-up for when you need a discreet appearance
Tie the ribbons to your bra straps to create a feminine cover-up

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Breast enhancers for when you need that little bit more

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Silicon petals for discrete nipple cover up

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For those ladies that need them: stick on nipples

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And finally, some ladies may wish to add a pocket to their bras to hold a prosthesis

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Alternatives to lipomodelling reconstruction

There is a lot of information available to those of you who want non-lipo reconstruction. Many books have been written on the subject and I have reviewed some of them for Macmillan as a Cancer Voice.

Your options include:-
Implants of a ‘foreign’ nature, such as silicon or saline-filled implants
Autologous ‘implants’ using tissue from other parts of your body, such as LD flaps or TRAM flaps
Everybody who has a reconstruction will probably have a different experience, as each persons body, cancer and treatment preferences will be different.
I do know from what I read that not every person will have the same options available to them. You only need to consider the variety of situations to realise this, for example:-
1) Bi-lateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction
2) Bi-lateral mastectomy with delayed reconstruction
3) Single (left or right) mastectomy with immediate reconstruction
4) Single (left or right) mastectomy with delayed reconstruction
5) Lumpectomy with delayed reconstruction (usually following radiotherapy)
5a) I don’t actually know if immediate reconstructions ever done after a lumpectomy due to the effects radiotherapy can have on implants

Much expert advice and information is available and this is continually being updated. You may find it useful to find out from your surgeon what the options are for you and then read up o it. I on the other hand went about it the other way and read about all the options available and ruled out the procedures that I did not even want to consider (which was most of them in the end). My summary is never going to give you the fullest of information so please do your own careful research.

Foreign implants:
Usually silicon and can be inserted under the skin or behind the muscle on the chest wall, depending on individual circumstances. It may be necessary to use an inflatable implant first to ensure that the breast area will accommodate the final implant. All man-made implants will eventually need replacing (as at the time of writing).

Autologous ‘implants’:
Most commonly from the back or the abdomen. The donor material is removed (usually) with blood vessels still connected. This is then tunnelled under the skin to its new site in the breast. The attached blood vessels keep the relocated tissue alive and increase the chances of a successful reconstruction. I understand that sensations from the relocated tissue are felt in the source site and that muscle movement in the breast may occur when flexing muscles in the donor area.

With man-made implants the surgical site is constrained to just the chest area (and when I say just the chest I do realise that this can be a large proportion of the chest, i.e. From breast bone to beneath the armpit).
Whereas with the autologous implant there will be additional surgery at, and from, the donor site as well.
It is well to remember that all surgical sites will need to be cared for during the healing process to avoid infection setting in and potentially prolonging the time it takes to heal.

Again, I repeat what I said earlier… The information input here is information I discovered when I was researching my own reconstruction. It is not necessarily the most up to date and it is most definitely worth your while investing some of your own time in finding out what is available and also what is most appropriate for your own circumstances. Bear in mind that research into breast cancer is a very active field and developments are leaping forward all the time. You may even get to be a pioneer!

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Five fears about reconstruction

Having had 2 operations for my breast reconstruction I think I can narrow the list of worries and apprehensions to five key fears:-
There isn’t a specific order to the list, as it changes on my mood and what is foremost in my mind when I think about it.
1) The reconstruction will be a failure and I could end up having gone through surgery and all that it entails with no benefit whatsoever.
2) The procedure will not only be a failure but I will have a worse appearance than before I started.
3) The reconstruction will hide any recurrence of cancer returning and it will not be find in time to deal with it effectively.
4) The procedure will have complications and I will end up with severe health problems (other than cancer related) to live with.
5) I won’t make it through the surgery and I’ll never see those I love again.
After that last one there’s not much else to say! Boo!

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Get your bras VAT-free*

This was first posted over on my personal blog but I think it would be useful for readers of my bralady blog too!

I’ve been living with the diagnosis of breast cancer since 30 October 2000. In that time I’ve seen a lot of hospitals and experts due to moving around the UK quite a bit.
Not once has anyone told me that as a patient who has had a lumpectomy (and this applies to mastectomy patients too) if I buy a bra specifically made for someone who needs a prosthesis (ie with a pocket or pockets) that I am entitled to have my purchase charged to me at a VAT-exempt rate under Group 12 of Section 8 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994.
Bearing in mind that it is now 11 years since I had my diagnosis and I only found out this important piece of information 6 months ago – that is a lot of extra VAT that I’ve been paying unnecessarily. I understand that health workers of all types (Drs, nurses etc) are busy people, but it doesn’t hurt to produce a leaflet of facts that apply to every patient and give it to them to read in their own time! I know it’s not just me, as a Bra Lady I fit other ladies who have had breast cancer and I haven’t come across anyone so far who has been aware of this fact!
At a time when money can become a precious commodity due to being unable to work – information such as this can be vital in helping ends meet. Not only that, but mastectomy bras are slightly more expensive due to the additional work involved in adding the pockets, so the VAT exemption brings them down to a comparable price-range. It is worth investing in mastectomy bras as they are a great deal more comfortable for ladies who have more sensitive skin following surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I much prefer them even now as I still find I have sensitive skin even all these years later.
Ladies, make sure if you have had a lumpectomy or mastectomy that when you buy pocketed bras – you ask for them to be exempted under Group 12 of Section 8 of the VAT Act 1994 and sign the appropriate document to confirm your eligibility. If the vendor selling you the bra doesn’t know what you are talking about, do what I’d do – educate and then shop elsewhere.

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Get your bras VAT free* (if you’ve had a lumpectomy or mastectomy)

I’ve been living with the diagnosis of breast cancer since 30 October 2000. In that time I’ve seen a lot of hospitals and experts due to moving around the UK quite a bit.
Not once has anyone told me that as a patient who has had a lumpectomy (and this applies to mastectomy patients too) if I buy a bra specifically made for someone who needs a prosthesis (ie with a pocket or pockets) that I am entitled to have my purchase charged to me at a VAT-exempt rate under Group 12 of Section 8 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994.
Bearing in mind that it is now 11 years since I had my diagnosis and I only found out this important piece of information 6 months ago – that is a lot of extra VAT that I’ve been paying unnecessarily. I understand that health workers of all types (Drs, nurses etc) are busy people, but it doesn’t hurt to produce a leaflet of facts that apply to every patient and give it to them to read in their own time! I know it’s not just me, as a Bra Lady I fit other ladies who have had breast cancer and I haven’t come across anyone so far who has been aware of this fact!
At a time when money can become a precious commodity due to being unable to work – information such as this can be vital in helping ends meet. Not only that, but mastectomy bras are slightly more expensive due to the additional work involved in adding the pockets, so the VAT exemption brings them down to a comparable price-range. It is worth investing in mastectomy bras as they are a great deal more comfortable for ladies who have more sensitive skin following surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I much prefer them even now as I still find I have sensitive skin even all these years later.
Ladies, make sure if you have had a lumpectomy or mastectomy that when you buy pocketed bras – you ask for them to be exempted under Group 12 of Section 8 of the VAT Act 1994 and sign the appropriate document to confirm your eligibility. If the vendor selling you the bra doesn’t know what you are talking about, do what I’d do – educate and then shop elsewhere.

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Final visit to the oncoplasty clinic

November 1 2011, my final visit to the hospital – Mr S was to come through on the one hour drive to the hospital, but a package we were expecting to be delivered has not arrived, so I drive through on my own. It’s a frustrating drive, due to MOD vehicles slowing the speed of traffic on narrow winding roads and I get to the hospital 2 minutes before my appointment and cannot immediately find a parking place! Parking fee eventually paid I run round to the clinic from a car park further away and gasp my way to reception! Then I wait for three quarters of an hour for my name to be called!!!
I see a Doctor that I have never seen before, who doesn’t introduce himself and who on inspecting me and deciding that as much can has been done as can be, does not offer me anything else to balance me out (I had expected to be offered a reduction on my healthy breast – not that I would have had one – but someone else in my place may have done!)
He advises me that I am discharged – back to my Doctor and to see my GP if anything further needs addressing.
That’s it
The End!

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Items to take into hospital with you… (via Julie Short)

Seeing as it is breast cancer awareness month (and if you tweet, look out for this hashtag #bcam), I thought that a blog about what to take into hospital may be of use.

This is one from my personal blog about my cancer and reconstruction.

https://julieshort.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/five-things-to-take-with-you-when-you-go-for-lipofilling-on-your-breast/

This is as much a reminder for me as it is a list for you, the reader. I find that my memory doesn’t seem to want to work so well sometimes (I could say it’s chemo-brain, but I think it’s too long since I had it, to get away with that!).

Let’s see what I can come up with

1. Paperwork – you’ll need the consent form (if they send it in advance), complete with all your allergies, previous medical treatments, doctors details and your other key information. If they didn’t send the form in advance, make sure to take all this information with you.

2. Change of clothes – this time I’m going in as a day patient, but I’m still intending on taking a change of clothes in case I’m kept in overnight (heard that if the anaesthetic has a profound effect on me, this could be likely!). So that would be nightdress (not too tight over the upper torso, underwear, not my favourite bra (indelible ink does not come out of favourite bras!) and MAGIC PANTS for after the op. I’m also taking a bra extender (easy to find when you are a BraLady!) so that I can wear my bra a bit looser after my surgery for a while. I was told that if I needed a post-surgery bra, the hospital would provide one (which saves me taking one of my stock items and having to replace it).

3. Wash bag – whatever you like to take in yours, take! I’ll be taking the usual bathroom accessories, along with a towel.

4. Emergency Cash – last time I didn’t take much cash with me, not that there was a shop to spend it in. But if I’d had access to some funds I may have been tempted to try and get a taxi home. So it’s always useful to have access to some emergency funds.

5. Mobile phone – mine was so much a life saver! I was able to organise my escape, sorry – lift, from the hospital back to home. It also kept me occupied with writing my blog and playing brain train games.

And, the list recommended on the hospital website pretty much covers all that (see below):

  • Nightclothes
  • Dressing-gown
  • Slippers
  • Personal toiletries (including soap, toothbrush, face cloths, shampoo, comb, hair brush and talcum powder)
  • Bath and hand towel
  • Soft drinks (I’ll also be taking some individually wrapped “green tea” teabags)
  • Reading material
  • Tissues

Some “if appropriate” items:

  • Spectacles/personal aids
  • Denture pot and cleaner
  • Sanitary towels/tampons
  • Disposable razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Small amount of money for newspapers etc

As a footnote, I was handed some leaflets at my pre-op assessment which recommended a good scrubby-up bath and hairwash before you go in, to minimise the bugs that are taken in with you on your body. I’ll be taking that advice of course.

See you on the other side!

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