Twelve brave cancer patients and survivors are baring all to help other women affected by the disease.
Pam Shaw, a Wigan actress, has come together with other women across the borough to pose topless for a calendar to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The 75-year-old said that the aim of the drive is to show breast cancer sufferers or survivors that there is “a light at the end of the tunnel” as well as raise money for Macmillan, who have helped the women as they go through the treatment process.
“We wanted to make this the lighter side of breast cancer,” said Pam. “They are all topless photos but modest like Calendar Girls.
“It was difficult at first to recruit the ladies as they were a little bit shy. The 12 of us have got together and we are people who have had a mastectomy, surgery and have all experienced different aspects of breast cancer. Some have even had reconstruction, there’s many various stages of it.”
With help from Macmillan representative, Alex Pegg, the women began putting the calendar together back in July. Each survivor or patient has posed alongside a quote which reflects their own personal journey.
“Mine says ‘one gone, one still here, I’m still the Queen of Wigan Pier,” added Pam.
Kay Seddon, 51, from Springfield, came up with the idea of the calendar at the beginning of the year. She is currently receiving hormone treatment after being cleared of cancer in November 2015 and is suffering from serious side effects.
“You learn to get used to a different normality,” she said. “A lot of women feel they lose their identity with cancer.
“Many don’t want to go out, they can become depressed, they have lost their hair and feel like a different person.
“We need to do something to help cancer patients feel better about themselves.
“We can show them our scars and put some make up on and show them we don’t have to lose who we are. You can reinvent yourself after the treatment ends. All the ladies who joined in will say how liberated they felt by it.
“It also shows that we have kept our sense of humour, which you can do and you can come out the other side as a better person.”
The calendar has now been finished and is available to purchase from the Macmillan centre at Wigan Infirmary. It will also be available from selected Tesco stores. To order a copy contact Pam on 01942 248456.