In October, in light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wrote a post calling out for nominations of women who had not only survived breast cancer, but who kicked it’s ass. I was touched by each and every story and found it extremely difficult to choose just one. But ultimately, I had to and I chose Jaylee. When diagnosed Jaylee was a young Mother of only 28. Yes, 28. Her story particularly tugged at my heart strings because I just cannot imagine the weight of dealing with the freshness of parenthood as well as everything entailed in conquering cancer.
The dear friend who wrote in her story spoke about how graceful and positive Jaylee always was in her presence. She wrote: “Over the next few months I watched as Jaylee fought Cancer. She lost her hair, rocked a scarf like no one i’ve ever seen and she did it all with a smile. I never once saw her cry. I never saw her with anything but a smile on her face, with the exception of when she was laughing … which she did alot. Even though she looked different, she was still Jaylee. She was determined to beat this thing and she did … She kicked it’s ass. (Pardon my French!)
Jaylee’s life and all of our lives were changed by Breast Cancer. I had known other people with Breast Cancer … but never someone my age. Never someone who found it themselves. Never someone so beautiful and so full of life. Jaylee deserves this photo shoot more than anyone I know. She is a survivor. She did not let Breast Cancer win. She is a fighter. She is a mother, a friend, a daughter, a wife, and one hell of a person.”
After our time together she wanted to share a bit about her story with all of you. The email she sent to me was titled “The Beautiful Life After Cancer”:
“Cancer sucks, plain and simple. Unfortunately, the truth is many of us will be touched by breast cancer. Whether it be our own diagnosis or that of a friend or family member, my message is simple. Do your self exams and remind your friends to do self exams because you could be the most effective tool in catching breast cancer early. Please don’t forget the younger ladies in your life. In our 20’s we tend to feel young and invincible but it can and does happen. I was 28.
If you or someone you are close to ever has to hear the dreaded words “I’m sorry, it’s cancer” remember there IS life after cancer and it’s incredibly beautiful :o) Thank you Jesseca Bellemare for reminding me of this.”
Jaylee is a remarkable young woman with the most beautifully intense crystal clear, deep and soulful blue eyes. I will never forget them. I am honored to have had the opportunity to spend time with her, to hear her story and to meet her sweet, beautiful little family. So thank you, girl, for being so present and open.
You are beautiful…let me show you.