Video: Public Pool Refuses to Allow Breast Cancer Survivor Jodi Jaecks to Swim Topless
In Seattle, Washington, 45-year-old breast cancer survivor Jodi Jaecks politely warned the desk manager of the Medgar Evers Pool that she planned on swimming topless in the public facility (video below), but was told that she could not.
Jaecks had a bilateral mastectomy in 2011 that left her flat-chested with two thin scars across on chest.
Jaecks told Seattle Parks and Recreation officials that she suffers from nerve pain across her chest and neck, and that wearing post-mastectomy swimsuits was too uncomfortable.
Jaecks told Seattle paper The Stranger: "It burns all the time, a pretty searing, intense pain."
Parks department spokeswoman Dewey Potter said: "She made it clear she wanted to show her scars as a 'badge of courage' and wanted to use the pool to spread her message."
Potter said that bathing suits must be "appropriate at a family facility," so that people from different cultural backgrounds feel comfortable swimming.
As a lesbian who describes herself as "pretty androgynous," Jaecks said: "It's good for kids to be exposed to the positive reality, not only of the existence of cancer as a fact of humanity, but also the example of surviving it with strength and spirit intact. I have no intention of accepting this pronouncement.
Responding to the The Stranger, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Christopher Williams announced on June 19 that he would overturn the policy for Jaecks.
Williams said he will consider future requests from breast cancer survivors with double mastectomies on a "case-by-case basis."