Seattle pool allows topless breast cancer survivoron June 21, 2012 @ 11:58 am (Updated: 1:55 pm - 6/21/12 )
A breast-cancer survivor, who had a double mastectomy checked with the front desk of the Medgar Evars Pool in Seattle where she was swimming, to make sure she could swim topless.
Jodi Jaecks wanted to swim to help recover her strength after she had chemotherapy for breast cancer and had both breasts surgically removed.
She wasn't ready to wear a swimsuit top. "At that time, especially, my scars and chest were very sensitive," said Jaecks.
It's not uncommon for women who have had double mastectomies to go topless. In fact, it was something that Jaecks had been reading about in cancer survivor online forums.
Although the woman at the front desk of the Seattle pool said it would be alright, when she checked with pool managers - they had a different opinion.
They told Jaecks they were trying uphold a "family environment" so she would need to "cover up."
But once her story was published in The Stranger, the Parks and Recreation Department changed its tune.
Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams said there's nothing to alarm the public, so the department decided to make an exception to its dress policy for public pools.
Jaecks said that she took her story public because she didn't want it to be just about her; cancer patients shouldn't be made to feel self-conscious by asking special permission.
"It didn't feel like I lost femininity with my breasts. So do I find it disturbing the thought of bearing my chest to the world? Absolutely not."
Jaecks hasn't swum topless yet. She is planning a swim on Monday. Her exception extends only to adult lap hours.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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