A 40 year old woman with terminal cancer, named Rowena Kincaid, recently led an attack against Facebook when one of her photos which showed one of her nipples was removed from the site. Rowena, who is suffering from secondary stage-four breast cancer, claims that photo could have saved thousands of people by making them aware of the various symptoms one might experience during this disease.
She was diagnosed with cancer more than 2 years ago. Doctors told her that she has a maximum of six months. Yet she is still alive, although her health has severely deteriorated in the past few months.
She has also made a documentary named “Before I Kick the Bucket” which aired on BBC, and also is the main person behind a Facebook page which goes by the same name. She mostly posts about her various experiences in life during breast cancer on that page. The page is a popular one, with over 10,000 likes, and is considered as an informative source about breast cancer by many.
Rowena posted a picture of her right breast on 23rd January to highlight a blotchy red rash which is a symptom of cancer. The picture went viral making over 72,000 “impressions” in just a couple of hours. But she found out that the picture was removed the next day since it was in violation of Facebook’s rules for posting.
According to Rowena, once you get ill due to a certain of disease, you gradually gain more information about it and ultimately become a specialist in it. She earlier had no idea what breast cancer is and what its symptoms are but now she know very well even the minute details of the disease.
She knew when she saw the rash that she might die so she wanted to let people know about it before the unthinkable happens. After posting the picture, she realised that it was an important picture since lots of people were sharing it. Rowena also added that most women just look for lumps but there are several other important symptoms such as rash, puckering etc. She never intended to offend anyone, her only intention was to inform others.
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After the photo was taken down, she posted another one with the nipple covered, but felt offended that Facebook would remove a life-saving picture. She claims that it was one of the most courageous things she has ever done. If she has cancer in one of her toes, she asked whether Facebook would take down a picture of that as well.
Rowena is determined to increase awareness about the disease and won’t stop. According to Facebook, investigations are going on at the moment.
Update : Her protest finally got success. Facebook finally reinstated her picture after her story went viral.
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