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A Warrior in Pink. | Purcellville, Va Family Photographer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Chances are, someone you know has been impacted by the disease. Over 39,000 people will die of breast cancer this year. Did you know that over 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year? If you do nothing else after you read this, please be sure to “feel your boobies”.  Monthly self-exams and proper mammograms are key in prevention. To read more about ways you can donate, spread awareness, and get involved, visit National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I had the pleasure of spending part of the afternoon with a group of amazing ladies. Lauren (the little one) reminds me so much of myself as a child, and she even kind of looks like me! She is such a free spirit. Shelby is Sweet 16 today and seriously could not be a better big sister if she tried. Colleen is such an amazing mother (I am talking chocolates on bed pillows, people!), and then there is Gayle. Here is Gayle’s story…

Being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 34 was a big shock. This year, 2012, I have been cancer free for 33 years. The doctors in 1979 gave me no choice. I had a radical mastectomy followed by 2 full years of chemotherapy. I never considered anything but a full recovery. I had two young daughters and I prayed that I would raise them to adulthood. I know my treatment was aggressive but I am here today with my girls and their wonderful families. I have 7 grandchildren & watching them grow up has been a blessing. God’s presence throughout the past 33 years & my family’s love has kept me cancer free.

Sincerely, Gayle Fleming


October 23, 2012 - 9:34 pm

Sarah Mazza - Heather, these are simply stunning. The life & joy you captured in these images is so moving and powerful…perfection, my friend.

October 23, 2012 - 9:54 pm

Karissa - Gorgeous Heather! Truly beautiful work!

October 24, 2012 - 4:46 pm

Jill Thompson - I love these women! I remember Gayle’s fight and how much she focused on keeping life as normal as possible for her family. She is the pillar of strength and grace. I see these photos and it puts a tear in my eyes as takes me back so many years. Gayle…I love the memories of you in my life!

October 24, 2012 - 11:36 pm

Lynda Irish - These beautiful pictures take me back to some great memories when Gayle and I were young moms and our families spent a lot of time together. ill sums it up nicely when she says that Gayle is a pillar of strength and grace. Truer words were never spoken!
Colleen — you have a beautiful family.

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