A Worthing mother who was diagnosed with cancer three years after losing her husband to the disease has bared her scars to raise money for charity.
Kate Henwood from Goring is one of several women who will be taking part in a topless photoshoot on January 26 to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The 49-year-old has been battling breast cancer since 2015 – only a few years after her husband died from cancer.
A photographer herself, this is not Kate’s first time doing the shoot.
But she said it had been a liberating experience.
She said: “It is a strange one for me, because I hate being in front of the camera – but I am passionate about raising awareness.
“So for me to go ‘here are my scars, this is real’, it is reaching out to people and saying I am an advocate for cancer treatment.”
Kate’s husband was diagnosed in May 2011 with oesophageal cancer, which spread through his body. Despite treatment, he died in June 2012 aged 50, leaving behind Kate and their then-12-year-old son.
So when Kate was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in February 2015, she said it was ‘a big blow’. But she was determined to beat the disease so her son was not left parentless.
She said: “He had already lost one parent – to lose two is just careless.
“I wanted to show him at 12 that cancer isn’t necessarily a death sentence. It doesn’t stop you living.”
Secondary breast cancer means it has spread to other tissues in the body – which makes it treatable, but not curable, Kate said.
She had a double mastectomy and six bouts of aggressive chemotherapy, and after further treatment she was put into remission in December 2015.
Apart from a few scares, Kate said she has been well since – but for the rest of her life, she will have to have maintenance treatments every three weeks and a CT scan every three months so the cancer does not return.