A KEEVIL woman has launched a new calendar which features photographs of women celebrating life after mastectomy.

Sarah Dow joined other members of Flat Friends to produce the calendar to raise awareness for the charity and was the lead photographer on the year-long project, photographing women to feature each month and on the front cover.

The 54-year-old, who has dealt with cancer all her adult life after first being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 1980 when she was just 17, said: “If you’ve ever met a Flat Friend you’ll understand that this was never going to involve strategically-placed cupcakes, we were after something much more authentic.

“Most importantly we wanted to celebrate our friendship, and to show that it’s normal and fulfilling to live without reconstruction after mastectomy surgery.

“So much ‘survivor’ photography focuses on scars and the kind of portraiture that doesn’t really reflect our everyday life or how we see ourselves.

“We wanted to show that life goes on. We still look fabulous, and focus on what we have gained, not what’s been lost.”

All the photographers and models involved with the calendar are members of Flat Friends and living with either unilateral or bilateral mastectomy without reconstruction, which is when a women’s breasts are removed, usually after they are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Since her first diagnosis in 1980, Mrs Dow has endured three bouts of breast cancer and has been flat since her bilateral mastectomy in 2011.

Gilly Cant, who founded Flat Friends two years ago, said: “We wanted to show that survivorship is something that happens every day, and even though our experiences have changed us, friendship, love and understanding matter far more than body shape, and every one of us is still all woman.”

Mrs Dow is now working with portrait photographer Bella West on a self-portrait project that explores identity, loss and healing after physical and emotional trauma.

The 2017 Flat Friendship Calendar is available to order at www.paypal.me/flatfriends priced at £9.95 each.