In 2017, an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,410 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
I first met Paige when I worked at Capital One. She was my manager for a brief 90 days. I was so excited to learn from her because she is a Six Sigma and Lean high performing end user and applier. I earned my Black Belt in Six Sigma from the Juran Institute when I worked in healthcare and I was eager to apply more of these amazing processing tools.
Paige and I kept in touch over the years. I had the honor of photographing her daughter with her best friend and also photographing Paige for her headshots. But one day, Paige reached out urgently and wanted to be photographed with her boyfriend in a very tasteful manner without their tops off in less than a week. Paige was going in for a double mastectomy. They had found breast cancer from doing a 3 D Mammogram. That took my breath away and my heart missed a few beats as I processed the devastating news.
If you know Paige, you know that she always has a smile on her face and she always sees the good. Paige is going to make lemonade out of lemons no matter what. I admire that about her!
I was a little nervous about doing a session like this as I never done this kind of sessions before. I knew I needed to work quickly, have my shot list together and keep from becoming emotional. I wanted to do everything I could to support Paige and give her a positive, memorable experience.
I also knew I wanted to make these portraits more artistic and turn them into a high contrast black and white images. I am very pleased with the results. I am even more pleased to share that Paige is doing well and is moving forward with her life. She wants to help other breast cancer patients go through the process more efficiently and with better support. Like I said, Paige is a true process expert and will turn those lemon experiences into lemonade for patients.
Thank you, Paige, for allowing me to part of your personal journey. You are an incredible person and I am proud to call you my friend. A big thank you to Holly Byrd Miller of Makeup by Holly for being available to do Paige’s makeup and adding her extra touches for my final vision of having the images in black and white.