We shot at the beautiful and one of my new favorite venues: Morning Glory Farm – Nan was so gracious, I can’t thank her enough.. she said they’d be honored to host more shoots. We are so thankful for that…. and also many thanks to to Katie from Makeup Your Face for doing an amazing job on Colleen’s makeup and hair.
Colleen was diagnosed in the summer of 2014 with Stage 2 Invasive Breast Cancer (hormone receptor positive). I’d met her while at a family reunion… she was dating my husband’s cousin. At the time, I was just finished with radiation and we instantly connected and stayed in touch…. she confided in me that she’d had a mammogram and that they were worried about it and she’d felt the lumps, but had been putting it off. She honestly did not want to know… She underwent chemo and then double mastectomy and she had a terrible time with her healing. The tissue became necrotic and she ended up having to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapies to try to breathe oxygen into the skin… ultimately, she ended up having 4 more reconstruction surgeries… She has truly struggled with becoming whole, again.
At the time, she had started a new cleaning business and was unfortunately unable to work due to the loss of strength in her upper body. In 2015 Colleen decided she was going to start real estate school, she needed to change the news and do something for herself. She just recently passed her SC Real Estate Exam and is now actively practicing as a real estate agent. So exciting for her!
In February of this year, she had her final reconstructive surgery taking fat from her tummy and creating breasts (DIEP FLAP). She is ultimately satisfied with her result and has decided to be content with her new body…
On the outside, Colleen exudes health and beauty and you wouldn’t know by looking at her from the outside all she’s gone through… she truly is stunning! However, as women… we all know that we are our own worst critics and it really can play into our self esteem. It’s so important that we have a realistic view of who we actually are… which is exactly why I wanted to create this project. I want women to feel beautiful and empowered…
Colleen’s take away from everything she’s been through… she wants all women to know: “The one mission statement that I can share with all woman is to please love yourself and all your imperfections. Our unique features make us exactly who God meant for us to be. You never appreciate how beautiful you are until you have to remember yourself from before the scars. Beauty comes from the heart and when the heart loves it’s a beautiful thing. We need to learn to see through our hearts and not our eyes.”
Strength, beauty… empowered, that’s what I see! And, at the end of all this… you’ll see her business card. She is building her business in Myrtle Beach, SC… so if she receives a client or two out of this, it will be even more reason to empower her!
Colleen, I can’t tell you how beautiful you are (inside and out)! Cancer cannot take that from you….
If you need a SC realtor… feel free to give Colleen a call!
I hope you enjoyed being a part of The Sunshine Project…. and it brought you a little sunshine in your life!