INSPIRATIONAL cancer survivor Maria Wadey, from Chard, has posed topless and is organising a charity calendar to raise funds.
It is hoped the striking image will inspire more people to support the calendar, which will raise money for the Breast Cancer Campaign and Cancer Research UK.
Maria was diagnosed with breast cancer in March last year but the keen runner delayed surgery to run in the London Marathon and raise money for charity.
She said: “When I was told the news, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so numb – you just don’t expect it to happen to you.
“I have always been fit and healthy – I never felt unwell.”
Maria has made a full recovery after surgery and a course of chemotherapy and has decided, with photographer Hayley Tigerfly, to produce a calendar.
It will be made in memory of Maria’s good friend Angie Gerrard, who died this month after her own battle with cancer.
Maria described Angie as an inspiration and said she had left a big hole in people’s lives.
Several women from Chard and Ilminster, some of whom are fighting or surviving their own cancers, have said they will take part in the project.
Hayley said participants did not have to be topless and each month would be made up of groups of women or men.
She added: “Everyone taking part has lost someone close to them through cancer.
“I am just in awe of these ladies, I lost my granddad to cancer and it could happen to anyone and any time.
“We want to raise the awareness and get more research to save people’s lives.”
Photo shoots will start on July 20 and run on Sundays throughout August. A number of businesses are already on board with sponsorship and calendars will be sold at £10.
Maria and Hayley hope more people will get involved – anyone who would like to do so should call Hayley on 07943- 786255 or Maria on 07812-188379.
Maria Wadey (Chard), Claire Rice (Ilminster), Alison Whittingham (Chard), Amanda Webb (Chard), Shelley Robert (Taunton), Heather Jerram (Chard), Lisa Jenkins (Chard), Alison Liney (Chard), Tam Firth (Yeovil), Lizzie Scoble (Bodmin), Dee Anderson (Chard), Teresa Gay (Chard), Jill White (Chard), Vickie Hobbs (Chard), Tracey Milton (Chard), Kelly Coller (Chard), Maria Ne Lynch (Boston), Kathy Gough (Yeovil).
Christopher Wadey (Chard), Robert Lynch (Chard), Wayne Burgess (Chard), Phillip Haskell (Chard), Jim Whittingham (Chard), Adrian Phillips (Taunton), Keith Milton (Chard).