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They bare to care
By PAT JENKINS
For the second year in a row, Barbara Purdom has bared her soul literally to help women following in her footsteps overcome physical and emotional battles with breast cancer.
Purdom and 11 other cancer survivors posed for nude photographs for a fund-raising calendar. Proceeds from selling the calendars will benefit Angel Care, a non-profit group whose volunteers include the amateur models.
Wearing only angel wings but with their bodies mostly obscured by props, the women are trying to project positive images so that current and future breast cancer sufferers can see there is life after the illness.
If youve gone through breast cancer the biopsies, the treatment this (posing naked) is a piece of cake, said Jan Harris, executive director of Redmond-based Angel Care. Dont worry about maybe missing a breast. Get out and enjoy life. Thats what we want women to go away with.
Purdom, who lives in Federal Way and was a school teacher in Kent and Yakima before retiring, has been cancer-free the last three years after enduring chemotherapy, radiation and all that good stuff. Ive been healthy ever since, she said.
Shes Ms. July in the calendar, smiling from behind a motorcycle and two small American flags. Although a calendar veteran, Purdom said baring all is a little scary when you put yourself out there like that. But its kind of a hoot, really. People tell me Im so brave to do it. I tell them (fighting) breast cancer is brave the calendar is just for fun.
Angel Care, whose volunteers provide free emotional support for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, gained national exposure in 2003 when CBS did a television news report on that years calendar.
Purdom said helping women find hope at a stressful time of their lives is rewarding. Ive gotten so much more than Ive given, such as the time she mentored an 85-year-old (now 86) who had no relatives nearby, Purdom related.
Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565, firstname.lastname@example.org