On Tuesday, March 4, 2004, a ring of the telephone changed my life forever. My breast surgeon called to say my breast biopsy was not benign as originally suspected. It turns out I had breast cancer. Although many women in my mom’s family had been stricken with this devastating disease, the news from my doctor was both terrifying and shocking. I was forty years old with three young children! After undergoing bilateral mastectomies with breast reconstruction I learned my right breast was diseased with ductal and lobular in-situ cancers.
In 1988 my mom’s biggest fear became reality when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her mother had it. Her sister, three aunts, and several cousins have both succumbed to and survived the plague of breast cancer.
Even though I had experienced first-hand the impact breast cancer had on so many friends and loved ones, including myself, my family and even my former boss, I would often lie awake at night wondering how I could use my writing talents and the story of my own survival. I decided to gather stories of women who had fought so valiantly–with differing outcomes—and celebrate each of them and the impact they have had on the many people in their lives.
And so, the idea for Pink Ribbon Journey was born. Women of varying ages, faiths, occupations, socio-economic backgrounds are impacted by this disease. Through reading their stories, I hope you will get a feel for how breast cancer knows no boundaries. Learn more about my own journey and those of the remarkable women and men featured on the pages of Pink Ribbon Journey by visiting STORIES and the GALLERY.
About the Photographer: Lesha Moore, along with her husband, Eric, own and operate Lesha Studios, a family and children’s portrait studio in Cherry Hill, NJ. Lesha’s passion for the art has inspired her to develop a recognizable portrait style that depicts subjects in a natural environment reminiscent of Tissot & John Singer Sargent. When not in her studio and portrait garden in Cherry Hill, Lesha can be found during the summer, in Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island, creating artistic portraits of families using the scenic backdrop of the sun, sand, sea grass and ocean. In her one and only foray into print competition, she received the prestigious Photographer of the Year Award from The Guild of Professional Photographers of the Delaware Valley. She has created portraits for NJ State Senator, Diane B. Allen and NJ Assemblywoman, Dawn M. Addiego. You can see more of her work at www.leshastudios.com.
About the Design Artist: Sharon Roth-Lichtenfeld, CPC, ELI MP, BFA, the design layout artist for Pink Ribbon Journey had an extensive career as an art director and graphic artist. Sharon, is BRCA2 mutation positive. Choosing to have prophylactic surgeries in order to prevent the diseases, she is now a breast and ovarian cancer pre-vivor. With more than 20 years of experience caring for people with cancer and special needs, Sharon has become a Certified Professional Life Coach and Energy Leadership Master Practitioner from the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching (IPEC). Her work now focuses on helping people through heartache and grief so they can find happiness and joy again in life. To learn more visit: www.GoodGriefCoaching.com
About the Illustrator: Eileen Toth created in oil “The Healing of the Soul,” the painting featured on the front cover and web site for Pink Ribbon Journey. As a Healing Artisan she facilitates Art Discovery and Relaxation Workshops for individuals and groups. Kennedy Cancer Center and the Kris Kelly Foundation have engaged her services to help people diagnosed with cancer, their families, and caregivers. You may learn more about Eileen Toth at www.healingartisan.com.