One woman channeled Wonder Woman in her preventative move against breast cancer.
Stephanie Kelly, a 42-year-old mother of four, recently underwent a double mastectomy surgery after testing positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation, which means she has an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Kelly told People that she wasn’t surprised when the test came back positive for BRCA1 because her mother has had breast cancer twice.
“With the family history and just my general luck about things, I’d always expected breast cancer to play some role in my life,” she said. “It would have been a great surprise if it had been negative, but I completely expected to hear it was positive.”
So Kelly turned to an iconic superhero to get her through the surgery: Wonder Woman.
“I have always loved Wonder Woman, and during this time I began to joke that I was going to be like Wonder Woman and be strong and unfazed by the things I needed to do that scared me,” she said. “Friends and family sent me little gifts of Wonder Woman figurines, cards, clothes, even a full robe. It all helped me feel stronger and it was a way to feel all the love and support I had and bring that along with me.”
Due to other health complications, Kelly decided to not have breast reconstructive surgery. Instead, she opted to get a tattoo to cover her double mastectomy scars. She told People that in addition to Wonder Woman, she was also drawn to images of a phoenix.
“I brought both of these ideas to my tattoo artist, Miss Jamie at Lovely Monkey in Whitmore Lake, Michigan, and she designed my amazing chest piece,” Kelly said. “I absolutely love it!”
Scroll below to see Kelly’s finished Wonder Woman tattoo.
“With my other health issues, I’d never really been very confident of my body. But now, I already don’t fit the mold of what the world expects, so there is a sense of freedom that comes with that,” Kelly told People. “But then on top of this, I have this image of strength, power and fearlessness across my chest and that continues to build me up. I see my scars now as entirely positive.”
Head over to People to read the rest of Kelly’s story.