Apparently, Seattle Parks and Recreation officials felt that the exposed scars would upset the "family friendly" environment they seek for their pools. I wonder what they think would be most unsettling: the scars as reminders of cancer or the scars as reminders of the breasts that once were.
Not only is wearing a post-mastectomy swimsuit uncomfortable for Jaecks, she also stresses that baring her scars is important because it was the photo of a mother who had undergone a mastectomy lying freely on a beach with her children that first inspired her to get a mastectomy, rather than a less-invasive procedure. A drastic decision, it ultimately freed her from fear of more frequent surgeries, mammogram checks and possible cancer resurgence.
After the media picked up on Jaecks' story, Seattle Parks and Recreation made an exception in her case, granting her the right to swim topless but only during adult lap sessions. Permission to swim topless will be considered on a case-by-case basis for other people who have undergone surgeries.
Jaecks says that's not good enough. She wants the dress code changed for all women with mastectomy scars. And she objects to the stipulation that allows her to swim topless only during adult lap sessions. As Jaecks points out, "kids get cancer, too. It's a human fact people need to wrap their heads around. Children can embrace reality, too."
In response, Seattle Parks and Recreation has agreed to form a committee to review its policy for all people using the city's pools.
Cover Up The Stranger
City Will Consider "Wholesale Change" to Pool Policy The Stranger
Breast-cancer survivor fights city, wins right to swim in pool topless The Seattle Times