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Darlington cancer survivor's brave message
A BREAST cancer survivor has joined forces with a local photographer to bare her scars in an effort to inspire others.
Sarah Waggitt, 37, of Darlington, was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and underwent chemotherapy and a full mastectomy, followed by breast reconstruction operations in 2009 and 2010.
Now clear of cancer, Mrs Waggitt has worked with Darlington make-up artist Jo Leversuch and photographer Jade Angus, of Gasp Photography, in Blackwellgate to pose for a series of pictures showing the scars on her back.
She is offering the images to cancer charities for use in awareness campaigns and made the bold decision after finding that ‘shock value’ frontal pictures were often used to illustrate the effects of breast cancer, with no acknowledgement of the legacy left by reconstructive surgery.
Mrs Waggitt said: “The shoot is showing me and my scars, basically saying 'yes I had breast cancer, but that doesn't stop me doing what I want, and wearing what I want'.
“The scars on the back are something you never see in the magazines and after having breast cancer I wanted to get the word out that there isn’t only the front to think about.”
Mrs Waggitt, who lives in Darlington town centre, said she was delighted with the results of the photo-shoot and is modest about the bravery behind the photographs.
“I never think of myself as brave but lots of people say that it is,” she said.
“It makes you feel quite humbled when people say things like that, because I don’t see myself as brave at all.”
Photographer Miss Angus, 27, said the photo-shoot was one of the most unusual she had ever done.
“I think what Sarah’s doing is great, I’m really behind the idea because anything that can raise awareness and money for cancer charities is a good thing.
“Doing something like this really makes you think outside the box.”
Mrs Waggitt held a Breakthrough Breast Cancer ‘Go Pink’ fundraising event for friends and family at the Railway Tavern in North Road, on Friday.
She has thanked her cousin, Helen Baker, for helping organise the event and for supporting her throughout her battle with cancer.