Joanne’s body tells her tale of courage

Joanne Jackson. (d622a503)
Joanne Jackson. (d622a503)

They say a picture paints a thousand words – and for mum-of-two Joanne Jackson the pictures are all over her body.

Fearless Joanne has lost weight, beaten breast cancer and turned her life around, and her 17 tattoos all help tell the story.

Joanne, 43, was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2011 after finding a lump. It is unlikely she would have found it had she not lost five-and-a-half stone two years earlier.

Despite having to lose a breast, which has now been reconstructed, Joanne didn’t let it get her down.

“I already had my confidence back and I was comfortable in my own skin again,” said Joanne, of Edge Lane, Thornhill.

Joanne’s first tattoo was a bird on her thigh aged 21, but she didn’t get anymore in her 30s when she put on weight.

But since losing weight and beating cancer, the Slimming World consultant has used her body as a canvas to tell the story of her life.

A ‘full sleeve’ on her left arm depicting strong women, Geisha girls and Samurai warriors is one of her latest pieces. It took around 20 hours to complete.

“It’s showing the strength of a woman,” Joanne said. “I’ve come out of the other side – I’ve not been beaten!”

A majestic peacock – the work of Kim Walsh, of Ink Station in Heckmondwike – also sweeps around her body. It covers the area where fat was taken for her breast reconstruction. Another tattoo of a breast-feeding mother and four lilies signifies the four miscarriages she suffered.

“I don’t drink and I don’t smoke, this is my thing,” Joanne added. “They are addictive – I’ve got another four planned!”

Does she regret any of the tattoos? “I’ve got no regrets – and I won’t care when I’m old!”