After initially turning her away, the city of Seattle says a breast cancer survivor can swim without a top.
After initially turning her away, the City of Seattle says a breast cancer survivor can swim topless at a public pool.
Jodi Jaecks had a double mastectomy and didn’t see the need to cover something that’s no longer there.
Now she’s hoping her fight will raise awareness for all women dealing with body issues associated with the disease.
Jaecks was 45 when she found the lump.
“I found it during a self-breast exam,” said Jaecks.
It was caught relatively early.
Jaecks opted for the most radical treatment a double mastectomy without reconstructive surgery.
“I wanted avoid future surgeries. That's why reconstruction doesn't interest me,” said Jaecks.
Surgery and chemotherapy left her feeling like someone else.
“My body changed in a way it never had. I had always been thin and fit. That was almost harder for me to take than the loss of my breasts,” said Jaecks.
She hoped swimming would help her ease back into exercise and she headed to a city pool.
But she found it tough to find a suit that suited her body.
“At that time, my port scar where my chemo port was was especially sensitive and my neruopathy was a lot more permanent than it was now,” said Jaecks.
Jaecks finally decided to take a bold step and warned pool staff.
“I said, ‘OK. I'm here to swim, but I’m just going to wear my swimsuit bottoms,’” said Jaecks. “I said ‘I don't have any breast tissue whatsoever. I don't have nipples. I just have two scars.’”
She says city staff told her she’d have to wear a gender appropriate swimsuit.
“I never got in the pool,” said Jaecks.
The city agreed to meet with Jaecks next week and said they will make an exception for her.
She’s hoping for more.
“I was kind of kicking myself that I asked for permission, but it's not my style to make that big a splash, no pun intended,” said Jaecks.
Representatives for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation say women going through treatment struggle with body issues.
"There's self-confidence issues, self-esteem issues about how you look to yourself and others," said Elisa Del Rosario, Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "There's definitely room for improvement in how we can support survivors after treatment."
“I saw it as a greater issue to rid us all of the stigma of cancer and make people aware,” said Jaecks.
Jaecks has come to accept her new body.
Now she wants to help other women suffering the same condition to see the beauty in theirs.