Thursday, 27 September 2012

Pink ribbons and Cornish flags: Made for Life 2013

Tomorrow I am going to the Made for Life ball, a fundraiser for Amanda Barlow's splendid charity that supports people with cancer in Cornwall, and I am going to help launch the naked calendar. Because I am in it. Cripes! I only agreed to do it if the photographer would "take me from behind" (it was a slip of the tongue you understand); I decided I'd be happy to show my back scar, of which I'm rather proud.

The scar on my back comes from the reconstruction surgery - my left breast is made of back muscle, the latissimus dorsi. Once angry and swollen, it had refused to heal for months before settling down into a defiant pink sinewy line. But when I was in the studio this summer, the scar had all but disappeared as far as the camera was concerned. We had to make a plan B. Now, as I look at this preview of the calendar — which appeared on the "Cornwall's Coolest" website yesterday — the scars are indiscernible to the viewer, but I know they are there for every single one of us. They're there just as surely as the pink silk ribbon of breast cancer flutters and cuts unmistakeably across the images. This calendar is not just a call for awareness — it is a salute to the scars.

The Made for Life 2013 calendar, with photographs by Mark Walker of Face Photography, costs £7.50 and is on sale through the Spiezia Organics website from October 1st. The website also has full details of the Made for Life Foundation.

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