A woman who survived a double mastectomy and says wearing a bathing suit covering her chest causes searing pain has won a battle to swim topless at Seattle’s public pools.
Jodi Jaecks, a 47-year-old fitness buff who had surgery to remove both breasts last year to treat cancer, was initially denied permission this year to swim topless by staff at Seattle’s Medgar Evers pool.
According to city spokesperson Dewey Potter, a sign at the pool stated, “This is a family recreation facility. Please dress and act accordingly.” Other city employees at the pool blamed an unwritten city policy that required “gender-appropriate” bathing suits, Jaecks told Reuters.
But acting Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Christopher Williams told her on Wednesday that due to her physical therapy, she would be granted a narrow exception to swim topless at all public pools during adult lap swims.
Jaecks, whose self-described “androgynous” thin physique now resembles that of a young man’s, said that swimming in a bathing suit covering her chest, left with two thin scars and no nipples following surgery, caused searing pain.
“I had a lot of chest pains and I was told that the feeling of warm water on the pain would be cathartic,” said Jaecks, who finished chemotherapy in November and is now cancer-free.