At the end of March, I was contacted by my friend Sarah Montani, who had a friend in need of a special portrait shoot. Her friend, Raeah has been battling brain tumors for the past 10 years and is about to undergo a radical double mastectomy and wanted to have a “before” shoot prior to this radical, life saving surgery. Here is her story in her own words:
“What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” -RWE
The last 8 years of my life have been an unimaginable marathon. I am proud to say I am finally approaching the finish line (fingers crossed!). In 2006 I was diagnosed with my first of 3 pituitary brain tumors. After losing peripheral ranges in my vision gradually and ultimately losing it completely (during a migraine) were the tumors discovered. From then on it was clear that there were many mountains ahead and the road was long. To protect my privacy I wont go into details but it was hell on multiple fronts. I am glad to look back on it. I was Brain tumor free for 2 years where my days were full, happy & simply beautiful.
As of August 2012 I am no longer brain tumor free. Due to a continuous side affect of the tumor, I am currently under going a double radical mastectomy at the DFCI/BWH here in Boston.
I never could imagine the lessons id learn about the truth behind beauty. They are embedded forever. It truly is connection and happiness that we create through one an other. The memories, the laughter. That full feeling that keeps us keeping on. Experiences and how we learn from them is beautiful. That in its self allows us to a fuller spirit in the days a head. Breasts or no breasts- Id rather posses the ability to see beauty in the gifts around me.
Here are some of my favorite shots from our session.
Makeup artist Erin Driscoll, of Killer Instinct Hair and Makeup did an amazing job on the makeup for this session! Check out her work online to see some other beautiful looks that she has done!