UNISON member goes topless in Birmingham for public services

Liz Potter’s double mastectomy following breast cancer left her determined to speak up for the National Health Service at Tory conference protest

161004-LIz-Potter

UNISON member Liz Potter joined the demonstration marking the start of the Conservative conference in Birmingham on Sunday – with a special reason to protest against public service cuts.

She underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2013 and decided to march topless on Sunday.

“I plucked up the courage to go topless and had my flat chest proudly on display as we walked passed the Tory Party conference, with ‘I ❤️ NHS’ emblazoned on my chest,” she told UNISON. 

megaphone march photo

Liz was referred to Nottingham City Hospital breast institute and told she had stage three breast cancer. That meant surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and she still takes medication now.

But she did beat breast cancer and came through with a fierce desire to proudly protect the NHS that means so much to her.

“Treatment was really tough,” she recalls. “I got a bit depressed. Even my mouth had gone horrible. It just makes you give up a bit.

“But the NHS doctors and nurses who looked after me were wonderful. They saved my life. They were there for me then and I want to be there for them now.

“That’s why I want to express my love for the NHS. I’m so angry at the cuts and underfunding. We must stop what the Tories are doing to the NHS.”

Liz’s story: Breast caner, my union and me