So Brave calendar to feature Eyre Peninsula breast cancer survivors

EMOTIONAL but worth it is how Bec Kolpondinos and Ana Ackland have described their So Brave calendar photo shoots. 

The pair will feature in the 2018 So Brave calendar which raises awareness and funds for breast cancer research and this year, shines a light on regional breast cancer survivors. 

Mrs Kolpondinos and Mrs Ackland had their entire bodies painted from head to toe by body paint artist Wendy Fantasia in March. 

Mrs Kolpondinos, who had her photos taken in Port Lincoln, said she was nervous about stepping out in public to start with. 

“It was very weird being out in public, you still feel naked, although you're painted from head to toe,” she said.

“The So Brave experience was amazing.”

She said it was long day as the preparation started about at 8.30am and the shoot did not wrap until about 9pm.

Mrs Kolpondinos said the long day was all worth it raise awareness and money for breast cancer research and said she was supportive of the fact the calendar helped the McGrath Foundation.

“We receive so much support from our local McGrath nurse, Helen Hookings, with counselling, laser treatment, post surgery bra, and general information,” she said. 

“We miss out on so many services in regional areas so we really need to support foundations like this. I'm also pleased that So Brave are really trying to raise awareness that young women get breast cancer too,” she said.

Mrs Ackland had her photos taken in Coffin Bay and in the lead up to the photo shoot, this is what what her most nervous. 

She said after having a double mastectomy and no reconstruction she was worried how she would look.

“We didn’t get to see any of it, all the mirrors in the house were covered up and then they did a big reveal and that was really emotional,” she said. 

“It’s something I would have never done before hand but it was really good, I’m glad I did it because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The ladies said they were excited to go to Melbourne for the calendar’s official launch in September which would likely be followed up a local launch somewhere in Port Lincoln.