I met Nicky at one of the early morning boot camps at Siesta Key beach in Sarasota a few months ago. She was the fastest runner in the group and had passion for healthy lifestyle. I remember thinking how stunning this girl is, with no makeup, her hair pulled up in a bun, with a big smile on her face. I thought to myself: I have to photograph her! I didn’t think I was going to wait too long… well, I was wrong. I learned quickly that she was already going through some health issues at that time… her skin cancer returned again, and shortly after, she fractured both of her wrists, which resulted in a surgery and disability to care for her son for long weeks and then even longer months of therapy…
In the midst of so many unfortunate circumstances, I knew that one day I would photograph this woman to capture her strength and to give her something to hold on to for many years to come.
Weeks later, we met over coffee to get to know each other more… I wanted to learn about her life, personality and dreams… and plan a photoshoot. Nicky is a single mother of the most handsome 6-year-old little man. Her past has never been rainbows and butterflies. She overcame many hardships over the past 20 years, from alcoholism, drug addiction & eating disorder. None of those things crushed her spirit. She's determined and does not give up easily.
“Recovery gives me hope that ‘alcoholics and junkies’ are not always portrayed as scum of the earth. We are just people from all different sides of the spectrum who struggle with an extremely strong disease” – she says.
I’ve come to appreciate so much more in life since I met Nicky. She’s such an inspiration and true example of strength with a believe that anything is possible if you really want it & put your mind to it. Every time I see her, she greets me with a big smile on her face, even when life has just thrown another obstacle in her way.
“I love my life today and I would not change anything I have gone through to have a different life… I love myself and I have love to give to those around me” – says Nicky.
We don’t realize how fortunate we are with what we have… We all have a different story, but it’s not the story that makes us who we are, it’s the attitude we carry & the action we take. Nicky, you are such a blessing in my life… and you’ve touched so many others.