Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays

As 2009 comes to a close, I can't say I'm not thrilled to see the back-end of this year.  But although my journey was difficult, some wonderful experiences have emerged.  I have had the priviledge of meeting some amazing women, am thrilled to be working on this calendar project and feel as if I've been given a second chance to live my life in a different and more meaningful way.

My treatments are over, my doctors are pleased and I am hopeful once again that I can live a life cancer-free.  Now, it's all about recovery.  Of course, with it being the Christmas season, there isn't much time for rest but I am loving every moment with the kids, friends and family.

I wish you all a very happy holiday season and nothing but good health for 2010.

See you all soon!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some images from Julie's shoot... my personal favourites.

Enjoy a peek at a few of my personal favourite portraits of Julie.

I am looking forward to shooting my next calendar model,
in high glamour.

Will post a peek when completed.

*click on picture to view full size.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Face of Courage, Julie.

Julie Achtermeier, face of courage.
A few months back, Julie asked me to be a part of her vision. I saw the offer as an opportunity to express myself artistically, in a passionate meaningful way.

Julie has trusted me with complete artistic freedom,
to express what I see in each woman.
With one portrait which gives you a moment inside their lives.
One of strength, endurance and purpose.
These are Our women. Our mothers, our sisters, our best friends, our daughters.


*click on picture to view full size.

to visit jen's: BLOG

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kristen Sharpe's Photo Essay:

Kristen Sharpe created a compelling photo essay for a school project.  In sign, this reads: "My mother has breast cancer".  Janice, Kristen's mom, is one of our calendar models.
Beautiful, beautiful work, Kristen.

* please click on photo to view larger.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Out Takes from brave Claudia's shoot!

Lyz Meloche-Field, one of our generous volunteers from Look Good, Feel Better, applies a very natural face to Claudia for our shoot. Thank you, Lyz!

A quick post-shoot shot for Claudia, as a memory of her day... Zoey, our cute pooch, was a trooper as well.  She was feeling no pain.

During Claudia's battle, she developed a new found interest in gardening.  Never before had she realized that she has been blessed with a green thumb! Sometimes, out of pain, comes new life.

The end of our day together.  Life IS good.

Thank you, Claudia for allowing me to photograph you.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Photoshoots are underway!

After a heartwarming meeting of the models and photographer a few weeks ago, the photo shoots are now underway!  There is great synergy amongst the group members and this calendar promises to be a huge success!

I had my shoot a few weeks ago and what a blast!  The weather was still warm and we decided that since being around water gave me strength and a feeling of peace during my chemo treatments, we would shoot my photos in the water.  It was on a cool September day but warm enough to pull it off.  Some are in my "speedo" and some... well, we'll leave you in a bit of suspense...
We also did some shots of me with my mountain bike since riding was once an activity that helped to define who I was.  Athletics in general have always been a big part of my life and I look forward to getting back to it.  I can't wait to see the photos once Jen has done her editing.

To all the Models - please post some comments about your photo shoots so we can all get a glimpse of what your photos might be like.

Keep us posted!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thank you, Era Banner, for covering our cause!

A big Thank You to The Era Banner for deciding that our project is worthy of the cover!!
*photo courtesy of the Era Banner, staff photographer.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Meeting of the Models - The calendar takes off!

Hello Everyone!
As September draws to a close, my family is happy to have celebrated another round of birthdays, including my own...  I'd like to say I am 29 (again) but for the first time, I am not concerned about turning another year older.  37 came with great pleasure this year and I plan to take each year with the same enthusiasm (well, that is the PLAN anyway!) 
Thank you to everyone who inquired about being in the calendar - all of the months are now spoken for but I have kept all of the contact details of those who are interested for next year's edition!

I am priviledged to be able to meet with the 11 other courageous women this week, along with our photographer Jen and the Look Good, Feel Better make-up and hair volunteers and really kick-off this project.  The planning has taken some time but we want this to be a huge success!

On a personal note, I will begin 5 weeks of daily radiation treatments at Princess Margaret Hospital starting on Oct 5th (ending Nov 9th) so my time will be a bit tight over the coming weeks. I will still keep up with the blog and any developments so please keep posting!  I look forward to the end of my personal fight with cancer and the next chapter of my life beginning.  The last 7 months have been intense, to say the least.  Some days good, some days not so good but all of it meaningful. 

I'm glad to hear that this project has inspired so many of you and I take great comfort in knowing that my cancer journey will not be in vain. If I can help even one person get through their own journey, it will all have been worth it.

Be well everyone, be strong and show your face of courage.

Stay tuned for more updates....


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Look Good, Feel Better Volunteers to provide Make-up for models!

I'm pleased to announce that Volunteers from the Look Good, Feel Better program in Newmarket will be donating their time to provide the make-up for our models for their photoshoots!
An update on hair salon(s) will follow shortly.

Welcome Look Good, Feel Better to our fundraising adventure!  We're very excited to have you on board!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Faces of Courage - Breast Cancer Survivors Calendar

When I first heard the words "you have breast cancer", a hundred thoughts flashed through my mind. One of them said to me "this can't be in vain". I knew from the beginning of this journey that there was a reason this was happening to me and I needed to do something with this experience.
I heard about a woman in Windsor who created a calendar of breast cancer survivors to support her local hospital. She was able to raise $80,000 for new mammography equipment. She inspired me.
Faces of Courage is the depiction of breast cancer survivors using black and white photography to capture each woman's experience. It is not a compilation of boudoir poses nor is it meant to be sexy. Each woman will be portrayed in her own light, as she is comfortable, in a beautifully artistic way.
I invite you to share this journey with me, my photographer, Jen Van der Vecht ( and 11 other women as we build the calendar and raise some huge funds for Southlake Regional Health Center - Regional Cancer Program.
The goal is to raise $40,000 (to start!) which will go directly to the Regional Cancer Program.
Stay tuned as we start the photo shoots!