It has been a trying year for Sylvan Lake resident Lindsay Percy, but that isn’t stopping her from living her life and showing others in a similar position they can too.
Percy was diagnosed with Burkett’s lymphoma in 2018, roughly a month after giving birth to her second child.
She had four major surgeries, an ileostomy, and five rounds of “very aggressive” chemotherapy in a short amount of time to say, one year later she is cancer free.
Over the course of the year she has had a lot to deal with, with two young children under the age of two, and an intensive recovery, it would be understandable to take time to think about herself.
But, Percy wanted to immediately help other men and women in a similar position to her.
“When my doctor told me the ileostomy was my only option, I immediately told him I was going to use it to help people,” Percy said.
While still in the hospital, Percy called Erika Fetterly, a boudoir photographer of EFP Studios in Innisfail, to make arrangement.
Fetterly says she has been shocked with how far Percy has come in such a short amount of time.
“She called me while she was still in ICU I think, and I knew this was something I wanted to help with,” Fetterly said.
The journey to the photography studio was long, but in October 2018, the two met once again to show scars, marks, body weight or, in Percy’s case, an ostomy bag don’t matter.
For Percy, choosing a boudoir shoot wasn’t about sex appeal or knowing that sex sells. She says she wanted to do a boudoir shoot with Fetterly to show a person can still be confident and sexy in their own skin no matter what.
“It is about intimacy and confidence. I’ve had so many people tell me their were afraid to be intimate with their partner because of the bag, and it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Percy.
Fetterly says boudoir is just about sex, she says the photography isn’t about confidence and self-love.
“These photos don’t have to be for anyone, no one even has to see them, they are for you,” Fetterly said.
Both Fetterly and Percy said the shoot was moving and emotional.
In May of 2017, Percy did her first shoot with Fetterly, before she gave birth to her second child and was diagnosed with Burkett’s. In the time between shoots she said lost around 100 pounds of weight and muscle.
But during the shoot she still felt powerful, and confident, even with her ostomy bag in full view.
“I think it wouldn’t have had the same effect if I had been fully clothed and my bag hanging out,” said Percy.
“Anyone can feel confident when their insecurities are hidden.”
Following the photo shoot, Fetterly called Percy back to the studio to do a video documentary of the photo shoot.
Julie with Wild North Photo and Film was the videographer behind the documentary and worked with a dedicated team to create the moving short film.
The video, which was posted on Fetterly’s Facebook page, has gone viral.
The two hope the documentary will get the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, so they can spread their message of courage, confidence and self-love even further.
Since posting the video online it has been shared thousands of times, and has reached viewers as far away as the United Kingdom.
“We want to end the stigma around ostomyies. We are showing they are a part of you and nothing to be ashamed of,” said Fetterly.
Percy continued to say she wouldn’t be where she was today without the support of her husband, Wade Percy.
She said he stuck with her during the toughest time of her life and supported her and their family.
“Really it wasn’t just me who had cancer, it was all of us and he was always there,” she said.
“Life doesn’t give me more than I can handle, I was able to handle this and what ever comes next.”