It’s not everyday you see a woman walking topless down the highway, but if you happen to cross the path of Paulette Leaphart walking from Mississippi to DC, that’s exactly what you’ll see.
A breast cancer survivor, Leaphart said she is walking 100 miles to raise awareness about the disease and to help erase stigmas around surgeries and scars. She also wants to change the world’s definition of beauty.
“I want women to understand that they are still alive and our breasts are just tissue that hang off our chest. That’s not our womanhood, that’s not our femininity,” Leaphart told ABC 8 in Virginia. “I want to take the shame away,” Leaphart explained. “I want them to know ‘hey embrace your scars.’”
Along the way, Leaphart met women like Sharon Poole, a cancer survivor who said she was inspired by her journey. Recently, Poole found out her cancer has returned and Leaphart took time off from her walk to visit the doctor with her.
“She has really shown me how not to be afraid,” Poole said of Leaphart.
When the determined activist reaches DC she plans to speak with lawmakers about the healthcare system that leaves many Americans bankrupt from the high cost of care.
“No one should lose their homes, their lives because of the inability to finance treatments,” she said.