A woman’s picture has gone viral after revealing a scar caused by ovarian cancer surgery.
Model Elly Mayday shared the candid black and white image, which shows her hands placed over the scar in a heart shape, to her Instagram account, writing to her 62,000 followers: ‘This may not be the an image you’re use to seeing.’
‘Most moms-to-be post photos like this, in admiration of the little bundle on its way. I’m posting this for what’s inside too… but in a different sense.’
Elly explained that the photograph had been taken after her fifth operation for ovarian cancer treatment, adding: ‘I’ve been through more pain than most 28yr olds, but I am still whole. I’ve chosen to not let this disease define or deter me.’
‘I have love for my body, its strength and for what it has taught me. I’ll do everything in my power to heal, and I have faith it will do its part. I want to teach you all the things I’ve learned, how strong, beautiful and capable the body is.
‘Most importantly, I want to show you how you are #stillbeautiful through the things life hands us. ❤ So, let’s turn these scars into #beautymarks’.
Elly’s fans were quick to praise her inspirational outlook on her diagnosis and subsequent surgeries.
‘I love this picture and the way you show love for your body and scar. I hope to someday be like you, and embrace my scar 💜’, one told her, whilst another agreed: ‘Wow thank you for sharing. You are very brave and beautiful.’
Elly was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013, and regularly documents her ongoing battle with the illness on her Instagram account. She has even bared her scars in a major advertising campaign for American clothing brand Lane Bryant.
She detailed her motivation for posting this particular image in an interview with SELF magazine, saying: ‘Not enough people were talking about ovarian cancer, so I just decided to use my personality and use my freedom and willingness to talk about something that’s necessary and to raise awareness.
‘It’s really difficult to know that someone’s suffering out there who maybe if they see a photo or understand my story or hear the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer they can get diagnosed a little bit earlier.’