Survivor Portraits Experience
The human spirit has an amazing capacity to overcome adversity.
Celebrating the everyday survivors that live amongst us.
My name is Emily and I survived stage 3c breast cancer.
Mother. Warrior. Reborn.
Diagnosed at the end of 2019, I went through chemo, a radical mastectomy, and radiation. I nearly died from an allergic reaction to the chemo, and after radiation I nearly died from multiple blood clots in my lungs. But my journey was not over. To prevent the cancer from recurring, my doctors recommended additional surgery and hormone blocking drugs. Feeling stripped of my femininity and surgically mutilated, I fell into a deep depression and tried to commit suicide. I was forced to walk this earth with just one breast for 3 full years before I was finally eligible for reconstructive surgery. Everything turned a corner for me during the reconstruction process. I began to feel like a woman again. I began to come back to life. Now I am starting life anew, feeling freshly reborn. I am so optimistic about what my future holds, and so at peace with life, finally. I survived.
This journey through cancer treatment has been the hardest chapter of my life, by far. I lived on the edge of despair for a long time. Taking care of three children during a global pandemic while undergoing life threatening cancer treatment… it doesn’t get much harder than that, in my opinion. I was so fortunate to have family support, friends and community support, and church support.
I felt pretty alone during some of the low times. I needed help caring for my children, and sometimes we barely had enough money for food. In the darkness of depression, it is sometimes hard to see things clearly. Many of the friends who supported me through chemo and radiation disappeared once my mental health crisis arose. I was in such a dark place and I felt totally alone. Nobody wanted to be around me, and I can understand why. Only the strength of my resilient husband and the love of my three children got me through those times, and just barely.
The thing that helped me most was my faith in God to deliver me from this excruciating trial. That faith just barely kept me clinging to life when I most wanted to not be alive anymore. A tiny part of me was desperate to believe that this suffering would give way to a better season of life. Having made it through the storm and come out the other side, I can see that my faith was not misplaced. Life has begun again for me, and I am newly resolved to make the absolute most of it.
I am proud of how I have been clawing my way out of the darkness and back into life. It has been so difficult, but Jesus has been holding my hand through it all. I had so little fight left in me for about 2 years, and I spent much of my time in bed. I had given up for a while, and felt effectively dead. But with this process of reconstruction came a new glimmer of hope, and that hope got me up and back on my feet. Now I have completely emerged from the darkness, weak and weary, but resolute. I persevered through such an incredible storm, which raged in my life for so long, and after 3.5 years, I emerged victorious.
The love of my husband and children bring me the most joy. Singing songs of worship to the God who delivered me from such terrifying darkness brings me joy. Spending time outside in nature brings me joy. Being alive and cancer free brings me joy!
The SURVIVOR PORTRAIT EXPERIENCE
Celebrating the strength and resilience of 23 Survivors
Each subject has a unique story to share.
You’ll share your story and we’ll plan your personalized portrait session in an initial consultation. I want you to feel confident so I have a professional make up artist at each shoot to make sure you look and feel your very best. Even top models need help with posing and my years of experience in the studio will guide you into the poses that will capture the very best version of you.
I’ll share your story and your favorite portrait in an exclusive coffee table book featuring 23 survivors for 2023. You will receive a beautiful heirloom quality fine art print to share with family and friends so that you will always remember this experience. Additional prints and products are available for purchase if you fall in love with more than one.
Resilience is essential for our survival and well-being, both as individuals and as a society. It helps us to bounce back from setbacks and learn from our mistakes, allowing us to become stronger and more adaptable. Sharing those feelings inspires others to continue their journey.