Model Kelly Crump made headlines for baring her mastectomy scar in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit shoot. The model recently opened up about why she decided to bare her scar for the magazine and what she wants women to know about breast cancer.
Crump Was ‘Shocked’ By Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Crump was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago after discovering a lump on her breast. She had been feeling tired at the time but thought it was because of her high-stress job. Crump went to a breast surgeon, who formally diagnosed her with stage 3 breast cancer just a few days later.
“All I’ve seen in the movies is people walking for breast cancer to raise money, or someone is bald, older, and in a hospital dying. And that’s not necessarily what happens,” Crump explained. “I think for most people they think of breast cancer as one thing, but I was shocked to know there are so many different kinds and subtypes—where it can be in the breast, and how it can show up.”
Crump had always struggled with body image and felt like she “lost everything” when she lost her hair and gained 40 pounds due to the cancer treatments. However, things quickly came into perspective for her. “During cancer treatments, nobody is noticing that you have stretch marks, cellulite, or how big your pores are,” she shared.
Her ‘Sports Illustrated’ Shoot Bared Her Scars
One of Crump’s friends encouraged her to apply to be a guest model for Sports Illustrated, but she was unsure about her chances: Would the magazine want a 43 year-old cancer patient as a model? However, she applied—”What do I have to lose at this point?”—and soon found herself on a plane to the Dominican Republic as one of thirteen finalists.
The photo of Crump that was featured in Sports Illustrated shows her in a blue swimsuit with zigzagging cutouts. One of those cutouts bared her left breast—and her mastectomy scar. Crump was apprehensive about the picture, and experienced a moment of self-doubt about baring her scar.
Messages From Fellow Survivors ‘Keep Me Going’
However, she quickly understood the power the image held and shared it with her social media followers. Messages from women who also had mastectomy scars poured in, letting Crump know her decision to show her scar was worth it.
“These messages and comments are what keep me going every day,” she shared. Crump continues to share her breast cancer journey online and wants to encourage people to be aware of their health and educate themselves. Her dedication to showing every part of her experience has inspired people around the world who are also living with breast cancer.