Project Purpose: Surviving Breast Cancer

I tend to run into people everywhere I go and I find that if I can stop and take a few minutes to catch up with a long-time friend or to meet someone new, it always seems to be worth my while.

Last year while I was at WPPI, I met a photographer named Peter Doyle who is based out of Acworth, Georgia. Owner of Storyboard Life, one of the things that really caught my attention about Peter was his zest for life and using that to pictorially capture other people’s stories. When he told me about a special project he was working on called Project Purpose, being a huge advocate of promoting breast cancer awareness myself, I knew I had to share it with you.

Here is more about the project along with three of Peter’s client’s stories.

Project Purpose: To preserve the stories of men and women who have personally experienced breast cancer for the benefit of future generations who will experience this disease.

Becca Brett Leish

Storyboard Life

Becca, 35, is a wife and the mother of a 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. Her own mother, Ann, died from breast cancer 10 years ago (just ten months after being diagnosed). A year later, Becca became a bride beneath a traditional Jewish chuppah fashioned out of her late mother’s wedding dress. She now lives in Atlanta and is the director of marketing and communications for a media company. She encourages those with a terminally ill loved one to: “Be as involved as possible in that person’s life and say everything you would want to say.”

Location: Barnsley Gardens Resort, Adairsville, GA; Floral Design and Styling: Amy Osaba Event. Floral. Design., Atlanta, GA; Styling Assistant: Erica Loesing; Hair Pieces: Lo Boheme, San Diego, CA; Dress: Anne Barge; Makeup: Raney O’Keefe, Atlanta, GA; Photography: Storyboard Life, Acworth, GA; Camera: Sony

Christel Bethea

Storyboard Life

Three year breast cancer survivor, Christel, 43, says, “There truly is life after cancer … you have a passion for truly living and embracing every moment as if it’s your last.” This former member of the Air Force served all over the world, had a corporate America career, and was parenting two boys ages 5 and 9 with her husband, Brian, before cancer. Since her diagnosis (in February 2008), she’s been on a mission to live that passion, starting with walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day For the Cure while still on chemotherapy. She now runs a boot camp for charity, takes on numerous volunteer and speaking opportunities, and competes in triathlons and other events.

Location: Montaluce Winery and Estates, Dahlonega, GA; Floral Design: Anik Designs, Alpharetta, GA; Styling: Ashley Baber Weddings, Atlanta, GA; Makeup: Lux Beauty Co., Atlanta, GA; Photography: Storyboard Life, Acworth, GA; Camera: Sony

Allison Cape

Storyboard Life

While dressing before a swim in June of 2009, Allison, 46, a mortgage broker in Atlanta, noticed a lump in her breast that soon became a quickly escalating series of tests, second opinions from doctors in multiple cities, treatments, a life-threatening infection, and several major surgeries. The mother of three drew strength during treatment from the support of a close-knit family, church members, other woman survivors and her faith. She has long-since returned to work, seeing the older of her three children off to college, and taking motorcycle trips with her husband of 22 years, Tip. She has now been declared cancer-free and sums up her complete recovery as “God healed me.”

Location: Private Residence; Styling: Lemiga Events, Atlanta, GA; Dress: Heidi Elnora; Hair And Makeup: Moore Agency, Atlanta, GA; Photography: Storyboard Life, Acworth, GA; Camera: Sony

Thank you so much to Becca, Christel and Allison for sharing your stories with us and for letting us look at your intimate portraits. Thank you Peter for letting us both hear and see their stories through your evocative photography.

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