Tuesday, June 26, 2012

06/24/12 Walter of the Week

JODI JAECKS is the distinguished recipient of this week's Walter award for significant contributions to "normalizing" the human body.

Jaecks is a breast cancer survivor who underwent mastectomy surgery twice as the disease claimed parts of her body, but didn't conquer her spirit.  She pursued swimming for exercise and to build stamina, but couldn't get a swimsuit to fit properly. Moreover, nerve endings in her doctored chest caused her pain when the suit tugged in the water.

Ms. Jaecks asked the Seattle Parks and Recreation department if she could swim topless in department pools and was initially told, "no."  When her story made local headlines, the Parks and Recreation department reconsidered and said it would make an exception to its rule requiring "gender appropriate" swimwear.

Realizing that a sole exception will benefit her but leave other breast cancer survivors to potentially the same experience she endured, Ms. Jaeks is now pressing Seattle to change its rules on topless swimming for all who have had to undergo the surgeon's scalpel.  You can read more by clicking Seattle .

To Jodi Jaecks who overcame breast cancer and made us all rethink what is "appropriate" swim attire, this week's Walter is for you!