Maya Darasaw, the owner of MAD Words Photography has teamed up with Candyce Jones, owner of Anchored Consulting & Events, and TaKeyia Monique, the owner of Haute Hipsters Media, to create social change through photography by developing a social media campaign to bring awareness to breast cancer. On October 1st, #31ShadesofPink will launch and honor those that are or have been impacted by breast cancer. Each day in October, a picture will be posted along with a story and/or an inspiring message, that will educate and encourage others about breast cancer. The goal is to encourage men and women to get regular screenings and build a social community that supports and educates each other. To follow the campaign visit the blog each day or follow MAD Works Photography on its various social media platforms. @MADWorksPhoto on Instagram & Twitter, MAD Works Photography on Facebook.
31 Shades of Pink, Breast Cancer Awareness from maya darasaw on Vimeo.
31 Shades of Pink, Breast Cancer Awareness
"Why, Lord? I don't need breast cancer to get my point (campaign) across." Those are the words, I uttered to myself as I sat in the back seat on my way home from getting a ultrasound biopsy. See, the day I planned to meet nearly 31 survivors and supporters, I decided to check myself in the shower, and felt a lump.... "50/50" is what the Doctor told me, as it was abnormal... I was paranoid, I convinced myself. I was about to hear their stories of triumph, but wasn't ready to bear the scars myself- of the uncertainty. I share this, because although my results were benign, most of these ladies didn't have that luck. I stand, camera in hand, in support of these ladies that fought courageously for their lives, and are here to share with you what gave them the strength and fight. As I am more aware of the uncertainties of my body and my life, I encourage you to not only be more aware, but be inspired. We, you and I, gather in the rings of life daily, give it your best shot! And, Fight Like A Girl! Love, Maya. #breastcancerawareness #31ShadesOfPink
Maya's Fight #31ShadesOfPink from maya darasaw on Vimeo.
I am a 2x breast cancer survivor, diagnosed February 1, 2013 and again six months later on August 23, 2013. I could always hear my father-in-law in my ear with his deep and soulful voice saying, "By Faith"! It was just that, that kept me going, Faith! Never be ashamed of the scars that life has left you with...A scar means the hurt is OVERthe wound is CLOSEDyou endured the pain and Godhas HEALD YOU.Peace and LoveChar
Cherish each moment, phone call, and experience because they can all become memories right before your eyes. I spent a lot of my time laying in bed and visiting my best friend, my mother before she lost her good fight. Mom never complained and was always helping others while sick and even until death. She was courageous and although she is gone her spirit will live on forever.
We had rescued a Chihuahua a few months earlier named Tia. I was watching tv one night when Tia sat on my shoulders and kept putting her paw in my nightgown. I pulled her paw away a few times and the last time I felt the lump. I was terrified. It took a month to get a surgery date and on Jan 2, 2015 I had a bilateral mastectomy. I had stage 3 cancer. I went through chemo and my daughters (25 and 21) were with me at every appointment. I lost all of my hair. I had to quit work but my family kept me occupied. My family never treated me like I was sick and I appreciated that. After chemo I had 7 weeks of radiation. I had to go every day. I drove myself and although I was tired I saw people at the hospital every day that had things worse than me. I always said I wanted a makeover and I guess God heard me, I've got new hair, new boobs and a new attitude!
I can’t recall a time when breast cancer wasn’t a part of my life. However, as I got older I became aware of just how prevalent it truly was. I come from strength. I watched the strength of a woman who has beaten breast cancer 4-times; I also watched the strength of a woman who no longer has to fight! Their STRENGTH and FAITH is why I will never give up on ANYTHING that God puts in my path. I am a Conqueror because I come from Conquerors. My Aunts are my Angels, on earth & in heaven.
I will be celebrating 24 years of being cancer free in December 2016. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but I have made it and I encourage women dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis to put their trust in God as I have done. I encourage them to live life to it's fullest and put themselves first. Don't regret the things that you wish you had done. If there is something you would like to do in life, do it! You have today and tomorrow is not promised, So ENJOY!!!!
No one ever expects to receive the news you have breast cancer, even though 1 out of 8 women get diagnosed each year. I thought I was too young, my mom never had it, just finished breastfeeding my first baby, etc. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed in my first trimester after my Nurse Practioner felt a lump in my breast. It later turned out to be a very early stage of breast cancer. So now I was 1 out of 3000 women who are diagnosed while pregnant. With the support of my husband and family I got through the shock of the cancer diagnosis and treatment. I learned I was strong enough to beat it because I had so many reasons to live. I may have a had cancer, but it did not have me. It's treatable and beatable! Now I volunteer with Susan G. Komen Maryland as a Breast Health Educator to help spread breast cancer awareness.
The saying, "...until that thing comes knocking on your door." Well it did, and that thing was cancer! I remember when my mom told me, right after my wedding. She had been diagnosed right before I got married, and didn't want to put anymore pressure or worry on me, so selfless of her. Well after my wedding she had the "BIG" surgery. And I tell you she handled it like Warrior...which is the reason I believe in my heart she is a "Survivor". Not only was she strong, she made everyone around her strong! You may say, how can something so bad create good? Not only did it make me stronger, it drew me and my mother closer, ummm like BFF close, LOL! My faith was made strong, I was able to process patience and understanding. To see ALL that my Mother went and still goes through, she is a living testimony of the passage in the Bible Job 13:15, "though He slay me YET will I trust him!"
The title of my story is "12 Surgeries Later And I'm Still Standing!" If you are battling breast cancer I will tell you to pray your way through as well as praise your way through. The hardest thing I ever have to do was to go through chemotherapy and radiation treatment. I had 7 sessions of chemo and 27 sessions of radiation treatment. I then had 12 surgeries in an effort to save my life from the mercer staff infection I caught. I had no choice to lean and depend on Jesus. My advice to anyone battling this disease is that you can get through anything with Christ Jesus, if you don't believe in him just try him once you wont be disappointed.
My advice to someone battling breast cancer is to get a strong support system--family, friends, church folks, someone or bodies that will be there for you throughout your fight. I was blessed and fortunate to have a wonderful husband and an awesome daughter and loads of friends, survivors and not that I could lean, cry and PRAY with. I found strength in lots of prayer, bible verses and a fight song, that you can sing or shout while you are going through. My song was 'Overcomer' by Mandisa. Every time I hear that song it reminds me where I was and what God has brought me through.
My experience with breast cancer was more so watching my loved ones go through it. In my twenties and early thirties I felt untouchable to certain things. I was shocked when I found out that one of my best friends Erica had not only gotten the disease but also quickly passed from it. It made me realize how important it is to catch it early. Making self check breast exams as well as seeing a specialist for screening crucial. I realize that breast cancer doesn't just target a specific group it targets all of us so we all have to be really careful about taking care of ourselves. I've also realize that there a lot of carcinogens in everyday things that are not being regulated. I am much more aware of even products I use on my skin, foods I eat, exercise, etc. We really have to be our own advocates and also demand that some of our regulations change so that our skin care creams aren't killing us. We have to make the best out of life to enjoy each moment we can share with family or loved ones. As much as this disease tries to rob us or our loved ones we have to support and enrich their lives. We have to stay strong and fight! I also am thankful that love is more powerful than any disease.
January of this year is when my story started. I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and soon later found out that I also have the BRAC1 gene. On August 5th 2016, I decided to have a bilateral mastectomy. There is so much more to this story but the point I want to make is this. Never once have I questioned, been angry or upset at God. In January I had asked God to use me as he saw fit. A week later I found out I had breast cancer. Because I have been very open, positive and accepting of the diagnosis I was asked to be one of the opening speeches for the "Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure" this year. I was awarded the "7 Woman of Ward 7 Women of Excellence Award" because of my work in the community. I started "Z for the T" which is Zumba for the TaTa's to help bring awareness and encourage regular screenings. God never gives a test that we will not pass without a A+ testimony. I thank him for choosing me to be one of the vessels that he is using for his purpose. I want everyone to know that there is life after trials. And the rewards are so sweet. Continue to walk in faith trusting with humility and thankfulness that you are apart of God's plan and you will get through with praise in your time of testing.
As a daughter of an amazing woman who lost her battle with cancer one short year ago the best encouragement I can share is to cherish every moment, from how they say your name, to their favorite song and even what their fondest memory of you is. Record their laugh, ask them a million questions, and lock in the memories while you have them. For those who are struggling with loss, put one foot in front of the other everyday and you'll push through to the new normal in due season!
When I found out that I had breast cancer I was scared and felt alone. As I started going to doctors appointments I realized I was entering into a special group. Not necessarily a group that woman are eager to join, but when a part of it, a group that you are grateful for. I ended up having so many woman that I could lean on for advice. I have since been able to be that person for others to turn to for help. Being open with the my diagnosis and talking to many people about it, I became more confident in myself. I have been through the lowest of lows so I know that I can get through pretty much anything. I know that I am stronger because I overcame cancer.
In June we gathered 31 breast cancer survivors, fighters and supporters together for a photoshoot that would bring awareness to the disease. Most of the participants were strangers yet they found commonalities in their experiences with this disease. Each day this month you've been getting to read about their experience with the disease as well as see their photograph of honor and triumph. Today we ask that you take a moment and listen to their voices as they share with you how breast cancer has impacted their life.
Day 15: #31ShadesOfPink Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign from Candyce Jones on Vimeo.
I was diagnosed in 2010 at the age of 26 with breast cancer which spread to my lymph nodes. I underwent 6 rounds of chemo, a lumpectomy, and 36 rounds of radiation. As I look back on the experience all I can think to immediately say is Jesus Christ is due all of the glory and honor. He was there with me every step of the way and he restored everything that was lost ten fold. I would tell anyone on this journey that sometimes what seems like the worst thing that can happen is the best thing that can happen. It was a difficult and trying experience but I'm better because of it. I appreciate every breath I take and I love the person that I am today. You don't realize how strong you are and what your are able to survive until your faith in Christ is tested. If you are on this journey know that God has a purpose, trust it!
The overwhelming support from family and friends has been my rock during the diagnosis, surgery, and chemotherapy. I don't hide the fact that I am a survivor of breast cancer, and as a male, though rare - we are at risk as well. I have learned that a positive attitude in everything is as, if not more important, then any treatment. Do things for You, and always share your smile
Going through any ordeal requires a lot of strength—physical, emotional, and mental. But going through cancer treatment your strength needs to be even stronger. Right before I found out I had breast cancer, my life during that time was so busy. I was a single mom, working full time, and starting my new career in the IT field. The news of cancer made my life come to an abrupt halt. My first journey with breast cancer started in February 2005. I was devastated, scared and numb when I found out I had cancer. These feelings resurfaced when I was diagnosed again this month. I will be undergoing surgery and treatments next month. During my cancer journeys, I’ve discovered how strong my faith is. As my physical appearance will change and days when I may not feel so well, I will be reassured by my family, friends and most important God that everything will be ok. I didn’t give in to cancer in 2005 and I will not give into it in 2016. I will continue to put whatever energy I have into learning more about this disease and what it will take to get through it, stay alive and staying as healthy as I can. After dealing with cancer, you just never know what the end of the road is going to be, and one thing I'm so thankful for is my family and friends. I don't focus my life on work anymore. My whole life has truly changed. I take time now to enjoy the little things I took for granted like waking up in the morning. Instead of thinking about materialistic things or work, now I hold on really tight and spend as much time as possible with my family and friends. My message to anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer is to never give up. Hold your head up high, every step of the way. I have received so much of my strength from the Lord. I attribute my strength to prayer, family and sticking to things I can control, and seeking help on things that are beyond my expertise. I’m a survivor so that I can help others who are going through this journey.
My mother is my heroe! She is a 4-time breast cancer survivor! She is one of the strongest women I know. Through her battle, I've learned how to completely and utterly rely on God. Psalms 55:22 says "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." Through my mother's breast cancer journey, I've learned to live by this scripture. My mother is a living example of how to walk by faith, live everyday intentionally and love the moments life gives you.
Eriel Paige, was the name I was born with but with all I've been through I'd like to say you can call me Superwoman. At the age of 33, I found a lump in my left breast. I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in March 2015. After undergoing two surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation, I'm cancer free and thank God for restoring my health. I'm thankful for my path as I can see from a clearer lens and am able to raise my two daughters ages 8 and 17 with a different outlook on life. I enjoy talking, encouraging, and inspiring other cancer fighters through their journey.
In June we gathered 31 breast cancer survivors, fighters and supporters together for a photoshoot that would bring awareness to the disease. Most of the participants were strangers yet they found commonalities in their experiences with this disease. Each day this month you've been able to read about #breastcancer experiences from various women and men. Today, we ask that you take a moment and listen to their voices as they share with you how breast cancer has impacted their lives.
#31ShadesOfPink from maya darasaw on Vimeo.
At the time of my mom's diagnosis we also received that my grandmother (the mother of my mom) was terminally ill with cancer. Little did we know was those were going to be her last few months on this earth. This news among the news of my mom's diagnosis was heart wrenching. I had to be there for my mom especially since her mother was not going to be able to. We made light of mom's new "boobies" to shade the fear of the surgery and the prognosis. Prayer calmed the nerves, anxiety, and fear. We leaned on God as He was the only one who had this plan in store for our family. My dad was especially supportive of my mom. He was patient when frustration and anger lurked into her when she would scream "why me"... All I felt that I was able to do was pray and be there for my mom. I stayed overnight with her the night of her surgery and stayed awake most of the night to make sure I was ready if she needed anything. My mom was in excruciating pain and often she would cry for her mom who was no longer with us. I know my presence was appreciated but it did not take away the hurt or pain that my mom was feeling.It is situations and road blocks in life such as this that make each and every hug I give my mom a little more special.
I have never had breast cancer but I have encountered quite of few people that have. I have learned that they live each day to the fullest. They don't take anything for granted. Most importantly, they continue to fight the good fight in hope of an eventual cure. If each person in this world had half the courage and will power as breast cancer patients and survivors, this world would be a better place. I admire them and thank them for setting an example for others to follow.
When diagnosed unexpectedly at 35 years old, as a African American women, the thoughts of this disease personally affecting me was really so far from my world, so far from my reality. I didn't hear the words, "I'm sorry, it's cancer", I heard the word, "I'm sorry, your going to die". That was my initial thought process that shortly after the blow, would be the very ammunition that drove me to fight, to survive. Failure for me had never been an option in any other area of my life, so the will, strength, commitment and drive to fight thru this battle would be no different. I was honest with my fears, and faced them. I openly talked through what I was feeling. I was transparent about the needed support that my family and village provided for me and I got educated on how to go about my treatment intelligently. Most important, I allowed myself to be human and work though every emotion that presented itself. I don't know if this experience made me stronger, rather than released the inner strength that we all possess to get us through difficult times as such; you just gotta tap into it and let it do it thing! :-) So what would my advice be to others? FAITH and GOD 1st, listen to yourself and go with what your gut is telling you. FIGHT and be your biggest ADVOCATE! and don't look back! EVER!....#31ShadesOfPink
The most difficult time was waiting to know if it was cancer, once it was confirmed my mind and spirit became a warrior. My focus was to win this battle. Prayer, laughter, and believing became my fortress. Everyone's journey is different do not try to conform to what everyone tells you. Find your strength, your center, and fight your fight! Be blessed.
Being diagnosed with cancer was tough for me, but I’ve realized that it was not just tough for me, but for my family also. In going through, I learned that allowing my family and friends to assist me, helped them to feel needed as they too were going through and wanted/needed to help. Having gone through I learned so much, my faith has truly been strengthen, my family is closer and believe it or not, I’m not “Super Woman”, but I’ve got a Super God, who never left me! I’ve learned the true meaning of Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with ALL thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” for He’s got me!
I am a physician and routinely take care of late stage breast cancer patients in the hospital or patients with breast cancer who experience complications to their disease or treatment. The strength that is exhibited by many of my patients is truly inspiring and motivating. Breast cancer is far too common and at times deadly. I've seen patients confront it head on and most with a positive attitude. I would encourage all women to get tested regularly at the appropriate age, as it is curable if caught at an early stage.
I am a 4-time survivor. I never thought I would survive the first time I was told I had breast cancer, much less three more times, but I did. My faith has grown stronger each time is was diagnosed, and I know there is nothing too big for my God. Proverbs 3:5 says "trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." This scripture has kept me going many dark and painful days. And I've learned to let my family and friends help me. I'm not in this fight alone. And I will never give up. NO MATTER WHAT!
I was diagnosed in 1993. By doing self exams, I found the lump in my breast. I then made appointment to see my internal medicine doctor. Once I found it was cancer I followed his direction, saw a surgeon, scheduled a biopsy. Once I had results, scheduling of treatment was initiated. I had chemotherapy for 6 months to one year, however half way through the chemo, I had radiation for as well. All who participated in my treatment, were very family orientated, which was wonderful. I had family and friends who were there for me, I must say, I was so BLESSED. I have so much to say about my survival and all that took part in my healing. God, family and friends and those that supported my family in turn supported me. My daughter was at work when she found out that it was the big "C". She immediately created a network of people who allowed me to call them if I had any questions or concerns, or if I had crying spells or was feeling sorry for myself. People are amazing, there are some that are waiting to help a person in need, so if you are feeling low, lonely or need someone to talk to, other than family or close friend, remember there are people that you wouldn't expect just waiting to be listen or lend support. Also remember that, GOD is always available.
"(S)he believed (s)he could, so (s)he did.""She believed she could, so she did." Here are the #breastcancer survivors of the 2016 #31ShadesOfPink Campaign. Tag a fighter/survivor!
No one should fight this disease alone! Here are the faces of the supporters, current fighters and survivors of the 2016 #31ShadesOfPink Campaign. They are mothers, sisters, daughter, aunts, nieces, best friends, doctors and prayer warriors of a fighter/survivor! They are strength, love, faithful, determined, resilient and even husbands, sons and fathers.
We are so honored to be able to tell their stories through imagery and testimonies. We hope that you have either done at least one or all of these things: a. Continued to fight for your life b. Scheduled a mammogram c. tell someone you love them and assisted them if they need a ride or shoulder while they are in treatment c. and shared this campaign with your family and friends who might need encouragement.
Tag someone that is a supporter and someone that is a survivor,
Tag someone that stands with you in the fight against #breastcancer.
To hear their stories, visit the #31ShadesOfPink Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign's blog: http://bit.ly/2dtwJxL
#31ShadesOfPink #BreastCancerAwareness #BreastCancer #WomensHealth #MensHealth #CancerSucks #Pinktober #BCA #FightLikeAGirl #BreastCancerSurvivor #MADWorksPhoto #HauteHipstersMedia #ACEatWork
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