TANTALUM: Stephanie thank you for being a model for this special “pink” shoot designed to bring awareness to the real struggle that so many women face with breast cancer. We know you have been personally affected because of your mothers struggle with the disease can you tell us about that?
STEPHANIE: My mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in kindergarten. watching my mom go through chemotherapy, radiation and other various emotional and other physical changes, watching that really changes you.
TANTALUM: She went into remission soon after that but the illness came back correct?
STEPHANIE: Yes, right before I started 7th grade my my mom was re-diagnosed with stage four metastatic breast cancer. I watched the one person I cared for get beaten up over and over again. Battling cancer is a terrible thing to watch someone go through, through her struggle she inspired me with her strength through something awful.
TANTALUM: Your mom fought a brave fight.
STEPHANIE: She did, The moment I watched my mom lose the fight with cancer I can easily say that a part of me died with her, a part of me that wont come back for me and the countless number of people who have lost someone close to them because of breast cancer.
TANTALUM: Many family members and friends of people affected with breast cancer experience so many emotional and physical ups and downs, what are some of the things you struggled with after your mother passed away and during?
STEPHANIE: So many things happen when you as a person are trying to cope with someone you love being sick. My biggest personal battle has been with depression. Anyone who had been diagnosed with depression knows that it isn’t something you can turn off and on. One of my amazing counselors over the years since my mothers passing put it like this, I had a roof or blanket over my happiness in my way, preventing me from almost being as happy as other girls my age. That “blanket” represented all my struggles and all the hardship I went through seeing my mother go.
TANTALUM: I know when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer I can definitely relate when you say that you had this sort of barrier over your life preventing you from moving on and even doing everyday things because nothing ever seems as important as what that person in your life is going through. I have learned it gets easier but it never goes away, its strange how sometime the women that have breast cancer seem so much stronger than the people who don’t.
STEPHANIE: Yes, I don’t believe it ever goes away, and I'm beginning to accept that, my mothers strength and courage, her love and support, the poise and dignity she displayed throughout her long fight gives you a different outlook on life for which I am thankful to her. She helped me appreciate the little things in life and most importantly not to take life for granted.
TANTALUM: Thank you Stephanie I know your mother would be proud of the young lady you’ve become.
Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States. It is also one of the leading causes of cancer death among women of all races and Hispanic origin populations. The following is taken from information available from the American Cancer Society (ACS). Bellow are statistics and also links to organisations you can go to where you can help by donating money or your time. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
CHARITIES/ORGANIZATIONS YOU CAN DONATE TO: