fbpx

Breast cancer survivor commissions intimate statue to honor other survivors

My nightmare began in 2019, when I got diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor informed me of the next steps, and I stood in the room for a while, unable to process his words. I stared at the lights, wishing I could disappear. Terror filled me, and I felt powerless over my own fate.

  • 11 months ago
  • April 11, 2023
4 min read
Cristina Gomez underwent breast cancer surgery at the age of 30, and decided against a reconstructive procedure. As an homage to all breast cancer survivors, she commissioned Raúl Cristina Gomez underwent breast cancer surgery at the age of 30, and decided against a reconstructive procedure. As an homage to all breast cancer survivors, she commissioned Raúl "Chuky" Martinez to work on this statue of her. | Photo courtesy of Cristina's team
INTERVIEW SUBJECT
Cristina Gómez suffers from a rare disease that causes her body to generate tumors. At the age of 30, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Studio Chuky is a multidisciplinary art studio that covers a variety of themes. The studio was formed by Valencian Rafael Martínez, a professional Fallero artist with more than thirty years of experience, and Raúl “Chuky” Martínez, a sculptor, painter, and illustrator who has collaborated with some of the best specialists in the field.

VALENCIA, Spain — On March 15, I commissioned a very personal sculpture. The eight-meter artwork is a reproduction of my own body: the body of a woman who underwent a mastectomy after suffering from breast cancer. 

I gave my face, body, and soul to the piece to accomplish a critical objective: to represent survivors who chose not to get reconstructive surgery. 

Read more stories from Spain at Orato World Media 

Saying goodbye to my old self

After my first surgery, I never wanted to go through a procedure like that again. I suffer from a rare disease. Tumors grow in my body – both malignant and benign. Doing anything to risk my health, like getting an implant or fixing my scars, terrified me.

My nightmare began in 2019, when I got diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor informed me of the next steps, and I stood in the room for a while, unable to process his words. I stared at the lights, wishing I could disappear. Terror filled me, and I felt powerless over my own fate.

Before undergoing my mastectomy, I spoke to Raúl Martínez, a friend and the lead sculptor at a workshop I loved. I asked him to create a mold of my breast as a reminder of what I used to be. He called it a very nice gesture, and we left it at that. 

However, after some thought, I realized I wanted him to sculpt me without my breast. He accepted the terms and asked if I wanted my face in the sculpture. I thought about the powerful message I wanted to send and agreed. The experience of giving visibility to these types of bodies, and normalizing them, felt amazing. I dove headfirst into the project. It felt like saying goodbye to the old Cristina and welcoming the new one, and whatever came with it. 

Connecting with people’s suffering on an intimate level 

Part of my process including accepting myself by adapting to my new body. Sometimes, still today, I look in a mirror and do not recognize myself. These last three years felt very harsh, and I did not treat myself well. During the first surgery, I almost died. After suffering from complications, and I truly believed I would not make it. Facing a scare like that left me feeling reborn. On the way home, I told myself, I need to start living again. This is not my last chapter.

This sculpture forced me to look at myself in a new light, to stand proud, and represent others in similar situations. When I thought of the statue, a question arose in my mind. Would it make me uncomfortable? Naked, I would expose my body and scars. My face would reflect the pain and sadness I had felt. This sculpture would display my most vulnerable self to the world. Despite my doubts, I went ahead with the project.

Cristina’s statue is among eight statues the artists worked on to display in the street. | Photo courtesy of Cristina Gomez’s team

Today, the sculpture is part of a collection of eight pieces on display in the street. When they finished the pieces and set them up, so many people came to see them. Their reactions felt incredible. Every time someone came to embrace me, I cried. People shared their difficult stories and told me how much this statue meant to them. I will remember it my entire life. It is one of the most beautiful moments I ever experienced. I have cried a lot through this process, but they are tears of happiness, and I do not regret my decision.

Translation Disclaimer

Translations provided by Orato World Media are intended to result in the end translated document being understandable in the end language. Although every effort is made to ensure our translations are accurate we cannot guarantee the translation will be without errors.

#GlobalCooperationNow

Pledge to be a #ConsciousCitizen today and demand #GlobalCooperationNow! by signing this petition. Sign Our Petition.

HERE'S WHAT'S NEW:

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE STORY: PAYOUT: $200 OR MORE

NATIONAL FEATURE STORY: PAYOUT: $100-150 OR MORE
REGIONAL FEATURE STORY: PAYOUT: $50-100 OR MORE
SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT STORY: PAYOUT: $25-50
Photo Gallery (10 Photos) PAYOUT: $25
Photo Gallery (20 Photos) PAYOUT: $50

TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY
JOIN US

Related