The reaction to breast cancer survivor Jodi Jaecks's topless, breastless body pictured in the June 20 issue of The Stranger was swift: Within hours, city officials reversed a longstanding decision to bar Jaecks from swimming without a top (women's suits aggravated nerve damage from her bilateral mastectomy, she had argued). But Seattle Parks and Recreation Department acting superintendent Christopher Williams's backpedaling was slow at first. He said that he would consider future requests from breast cancer survivors with bilateral mastectomies to swim topless only on a "case-by-case basis," putting the onus on individual women to seek permission.

"I was excited until I realized that they were just bending the rules for me," Jaecks said. "I want real policy change."

The pressure didn't stop. Within 24 hours, Jaecks's fight had gone international, with the Associated Press, Reuters, ABC News, Inside Edition, CNN, and ESPN all picking up the story and sharing it with affiliates in Canada, Italy, and the UK. Seattle residents emailed parks officials in support of Jaecks. And breast cancer survivor groups contacted the city to condemn the department's current "family friendly" swimsuit policy, which states that people must be appropriately dressed for the pool (meaning tops and bottoms for women).

"Thanks a lot for that article," wrote Beth Kruse, another Seattle woman who lost both breasts to breast cancer. "I have no idea how many of us there are out here who feel the same way as Jodi. We're pretty invisible, and now I know why: Women without nipples are not 'family friendly.'"

The next day, June 21, Williams bent further, conceding that the department must consider a "wholesale policy change" for its pools. So Williams met with Jaecks to begin revising the citywide swimsuit policy with a workgroup—a process that will likely take until September. Still, Jaecks is patiently optimistic. "I think the parks department is sincere in their desire to change," she said. "And I'm in it for the long haul."

Jaecks has been too busy to celebrate her victory with a swim. But last weekend, a dozen people turned out for a topless swim at Medgar Evers Pool, where Jaecks was originally barred from swimming. Organizer Adrien Leavitt explained, "We wanted to show our support for Jodi and also send a message that a public pool should be a safe space for all different kinds of bodies." recommended