How 5 Breast Cancer Survivors Learned to Love Their Bodies Again

young breast cancer survivor on Skin Wars

Going through a breast cancer diagnosis and a mastectomy -- sometimes two -- not to mention countless cancer treatments, doesn't just take a toll on your health, but on your body image as well. For survivors, there is triumph, but there is also struggle. Recently, five young women were featured on the body painting competition show Skin Wars and took part in an extra-special project that not only told their personal stories, but also aimed to transform how they felt about their bodies. Powerful? Yup.

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The five skin artists left in the running to win the competition on the Game Show Network program were given a surprising mission. They were paired up with a volunteer from the Young Survival Coalition, a nonprofit that helps women diagnosed with breast cancer increase their length and quality of life. After hearing about the tremendous physical and emotional journey they'd gone through, each artist was tasked with painting a representation of that touching story directly onto the survivor's body.

"To say this experience was amazing is an understatement," Courtney Lercara, a two-time breast cancer survivor by the age of 35 and a single mom of four, wrote afterward. "It changed my life, the way that I feel about myself."

Click through the slideshow to see the transformation.

 

Image via Lisa Rose for Game Show Network

breast cancer body image