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Surviving and thriving together

Breast cancer survivors Dee Knott, Wendy Barnes and Joanna Atzori are celebrating body positivity as they prepare to take the catwalk for a special event

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Surviving and thriving together

These brave breast cancer survivors are set to strut their stuff on the catwalk to celebrate and raise awareness of body positivity.

Sunshine Coast breast cancer survivors will take to the catwalk to celebrate body positivity and showcase beauty after a diagnosis.

Inspired by an event seen at New York Fashion Week, the Beauties, Breasts and Bubbles Fashion Parade and Cocktail Party will be held at Venue 114 on September 17.

It will feature breast cancer survivors, ranging in age from 41 to 64 years, modelling lingerie, breast prostheses, swimwear and clothing to fundraise for the McGrath Foundation and the Cindy Mackenzie Breast Cancer Program.

About 450 Sunshine Coast women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, which is the most common cancer affecting local females, followed by melanoma and colorectal cancer.

Event co-organiser, fashion parade model and author of breast cancer blog #UnBreasted, Joanna Atzori, says she is proud to model as a “fabulously flat and fierce” breast cancer survivor, following her diagnosis in 2019, aged 41.

“Having the courage and confidence to step out onto that catwalk, as a woman who no longer has breasts, is something I never imagined would have been part of my breast cancer survivorship,” she says.

“Women diagnosed with breast cancer don’t want to be told to fight hard, stay strong, be positive and that we’re inspirational.

“What we want is to be supported by family and friends every single step of the way and to know there are support services and opportunities to thrive beyond the traumatic and life-altering experiences we know we’re going to face.

“Being involved in this fashion parade is me putting myself out there to show the world I’m proud of how I’ve endured breast cancer and to show other survivors they have an army of supporters beside them.”

As the owner of Tracey G Prosthetics and Lingerie, Tracey Grills, says she is excited to see genuine breast cancer survivors being used to showcase a variety of quality, practical and feminine garments on the catwalk.

“Many of our Sunshine Coast models are using the fashion parade as an opportunity to celebrate their post-surgery body and show others that thriving after breast cancer might look different for everyone but it looks beautiful for all,” she says.

“The fashion parade was inspired by a similar event held at New York Fashion Week where mastectomy lingerie was showcased in a powerful show by women who had undergone breast cancer surgery.”

The September 17 event is rated M due to discussions, language, topics, themes and visuals. Doors open at 6pm and tickets include a drink on arrival and lucky door prizes. Tickets are available at trybooking.com/BXCAQ.

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