Olivia Bell painted by Wendy Fantasia for the So Brave Project.
Olivia Bell painted by Wendy Fantasia for the So Brave Project. Jay Black Photography

A bright message for young women

EIGHT hours of patience and detail went into creating a body painted with expertise to raise awareness for a cause effecting many women today.

The So Brave project works with survivors, a body artist, photographer and other creative types to create a fund-raiser Calendar featuring 12 young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 40.

Dr Olivia Bell from Bellingen spent eight hours being turned into a painted masterpiece before heading to the Promised Lands for a photo session.

Dr Bell was first diagnosed with breast cancer after it was picked up by an MRI when she was 37.

At the age of 39, she under went a bilateral mastectomy.

"It was still at a very early stage and that put me in the best prognosis group," she said.

"For me, connecting with so brave is an opportunity to raise awareness to doctors, families and young women to do this self examination.

"You feel very vulnerable and exposed but as the paint goes on it feels like a body suit.

"The vulnerability I felt was nothing like I felt when going in for a mastectomy, so it put it into perspective.

Dr Bell will feature as one of the 12 young women from regional Australia in the 2018 calendar.

Money raised from the sales goes to supporting the McGrath Foundation and breast cancer research.