Gray is determined to break down the stereotype of the “perfect body” and wants all women to understand that the loss of a breast or breasts does not make them less than whole.
Middletown, Connecticut (PRWEB) September 15, 2010
The Lifetime Television Network will honor Norwalk, Conn., resident Meredith Gray, subject of the documentary Naked, as a "Remarkable Woman" during October 2010, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Lifetime Network’s “Every Woman Counts” campaign spotlights women who inspire and empower others to work for change in their communities and the world. The most recent honoree is Elena Kagan, recently sworn in as the fourth female justice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Lifetime’s profile of Gray will also introduce viewers to Naked, which explores the naked truths about combating breast cancer. Lifetime will broadcast Naked and offer it as a video-on-demand selection for the entire month.
Meredith Gray was 50 years old when her second breast cancer was diagnosed. She would learn that she had the aggressive HER2+ form of the disease—and no way to pay for treatment. Her new insurance carrier had required that she waive her right to make any cancer-related claims for an “indeterminable future” because of her “pre-existing condition”—her first breast cancer, diagnosed four years previously. She also faced a difficult decision. Without a double mastectomy followed by chemotherapy, the chance that her cancer would metastasize was significant. Within weeks, surgeons amputated both her breasts and began reconstruction.
Frustrated by her personal dilemma with health insurance while confronting a life-threatening disease, Gray realized that many women don’t know what to expect when they learn they have breast cancer. She decided to share her journey in the most intimate way she could and sought a documentary filmmaker to chronicle her battle with the disease and with the failure of the American health care system to provide adequate help for the hundreds of thousands of women who have had, have, or will have breast cancer. Just three weeks after the lumpectomy, award-winning video producer Roynn Lisa Simmons started shooting Naked. Gray had decided to get naked—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Collaborating with photographer Claudia Hehr, Gray is finishing the memoir of her most recent battle with breast cancer. Also titled Naked, the book is a narrative of her 12-month journey accompanied by powerful images of her body as it changed, as she lost her breasts, her hair, her sense that she could depend on her body.
In the world of fashion, where Gray has spent her career, body image is everything. She is determined to break down the stereotype of the “perfect body” and wants all women to understand that the loss of a breast or breasts does not make them less than whole. She hopes both the documentary and the book will empower women to discover the true meaning of beauty—the beauty found deep within.