Meet beautiful Tanya! When I saw Tanya for the first time, I immediately thought of Jill Brzezinki, the breast cancer victim, photographed by Sue Bryce (my mentor) four years ago in Paris. I've watched Jill's story many times, and every time I saw it, it touched me deeply... Tanya reminded me of her.
She has a beautiful vibrant smile, so genuine and warm... and with her hair styled for the Affirmations shoot, she physically reminded me of Jill. The only difference between them is, Tanya won her battle.
Tanya's Affirmation Word is TRIUMPHANT. Follow her story below, and on the Affirmations Project website HERE.
LA: A few words about yourself.
Tanya: I am 45 years old, a wife and mother of three gorgeous boys, ages 24, 15 and 6. My oldest is blessing me with my first grandchild in May 2017!
I was diagnosed with stage 2b Triple Negative Breast Cancer in July 2015 and immediately underwent 8 rounds of chemo for this aggressive cancer. My bilateral mastectomy was done in December and I finished radiation therapy in March 2016. My grandmother, mother and one of my sisters have also endured this horrible disease.... But we are all survivors!
LA: What made you decide to join The Affirmations Project model team?
Tanya: I wanted to participate in The Affirmations Project to hopefully be an inspiration to others, to spread awareness and to find (and share) the good in what was once a traumatic experience.
LA: What is your Affirmation word? And why?
Tanya: My Affirmation word is Triumphant. I chose this word because I truly feel that I was a warrior against this disease and that I was Triumphant in the end! I fought very hard to keep my body, mind and spirit as strong and healthy as possible during my treatments, multiple surgeries and recovery process. I thank God every day for this Triumphant victory and the chance to still be here today!!
LA: How did you feel when you saw your images for the first time?
Tanya: Seeing my images for the first time was amazing. I felt beautiful on the outside and felt that the artist and photographers were able to capture how I feel on the inside and showcase that on the outside just perfectly.
LA: How did this project affect you?
Tanya: This Affirmation Project was very healing for me. My diagnosis and treatments were within the past year of starting the project and doing this was a way for me to put the bad behind me and focus on the new me. You are never the same person as before. But I truly feel I am a better person because of this entire experience! I was able to share this experience with my sister who is also a survivor, made new friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime. I am forever grateful!
LA: What are some words of empowerment you want to share with other women?
Tanya: I would like to let other woman know that we are uniquely and perfectly made! We are beautiful on the inside and outside, and our physical and emotional scars do not define us!!
Founder of The Affirmations Project: Adriana Pabon
Support from High Hopes in High Heels
Photographers: Lucyna Aleksandra Portraits & Michelle Caudle with Silver Moon Custom Art & Photography
Videography: Alex & AJ at AC Square Productions Check out their VIDEO HERE
Body paint artist: Emma Kenemer
Hair stylists: Suzie Reed with iStyle Salon and Brian Ross with Darren Pena Salon
Makeup artists: Brenda Irizarry, Ashley Cantero (LAC Makeup Art), and an assistantTaylor Rodriguez