Nothing prepares you for the day when the post-mastectomy haze clears and you are standing at the mirror; but it gradually fades just like the bad memories of chemo.

Mariana was just 24 when she was diagnosed in 2009. The cancer was so aggressive that doctors even prepared her death certificate in advance as they feared she wouldn’t pull through. She had chemotherapy which slowed the spread of the disease, but was told to have both of her breasts removed to prevent the cancer from worsening.

Mariana Milward has stripped to the waist in more than two hundred churches in Rio de Janeiro in over three years.

The 33-year-old has performed her inspirational speech at more than 200 churches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, over the last three years. She said: ‘My scars show I’ve been through a war and I’ve survived. ‘Although I have no breasts I’m an example to other women that miracles can happen and there is always hope.’

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Having lost both her breasts Mariana admitted that she worried about finding love again but in 2014 she met her husband Wilson.

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Mariana recalled: 'The consultant said my chemotherapy doses were so strong I should think about adopting a child or getting a dog because I would be infertile. But I never gave up hope and in 2015 I gave birth to my baby son Daniel.'

Robson Coelho/Caters News

Her extraordinary campaign has shocked many parishioners, but she claims to have inspired scores of women battling breast cancer by telling her story of survival.

Robson Coelho/Caters News

But although she is an inspiration to some, the former sergeant nurse, who has served in Brazil’s army, has also been the target of ferocious criticism.

Mariana added that she has no plans to have breast implants as the silicone could cause infection or trigger a return of the cancer.

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