Operation Bella Vida

February 11, 2010

It’s hard for me to cuddle up to the flagship color for my diagnosis. I’ve never been a fan of pink. Those who know me would not tag me pink. Green, blue, even fiery red, I’ll claim but pink -not so much. I’m way too rough and tumble for pink.

Last month, I was lucky enough to be involved with Operation BellaVida, a program that offers free photography sessions to women fighting breast cancer and breast cancer survivors. The people over at BellaVida Studios understood my non-pinkness. They didn’t try to girly up my session with ribbons and scarves. They understood that I took literally the phrase “fighting breast cancer”, that I had every intention of winning the fight and that my plan was to emerge stronger for having gone through this shit. Pink boxing gloves. Now that is my kind of pink.

Ronnie Gaubatz

The session was beyond moving. It was the first time I really took the time to think about how far I had come over the past year and what that meant to me and to my family. The images are powerful, emotional and sometimes raw. I love every one of them. BelleVida Studios will be hosting a fund-raising event with more images of me and other survivors in late February. Proceeds are going toward The Cancer Treatment Center and Susan G. Komen.

Thank you, Summer, Brian and David, for your commitment to this project, for your unique perspectives and for sharing with me your true colors. You’ve made me rethink pink.

Check out a slide show of more images from Operation BellaVida on their blog.


One Response to “Operation Bella Vida”

  1. Ronnie Says:

    Adding some details about the exhibit at BELLAVIDA. This is from the blog of Rendy Fulkner, another woman in the exhibit. She is much better at details than me…

    Operation Bella Vida is a fine art photography exhibit documenting the lives of seven women (including me) who were all diagnosed with breast cancer in her 30s or 40s. It was inspired by the women who were photographed to urge all women to continue with their self-exams and continue getting their mammograms. The open exhibition will be February 25-28. (Thursday-Saturday 10:00-6:00 and Sunday Noon-5:00) at Bella Vida Studios at 325 East Main Street in Belleville. I would like to invite all of you to attend the open exhibition and BRING the WOMEN YOU LOVE!! A $10 donation will be asked at the door. 100% of all proceeds will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Memorial and St. Elizabeth’s Cancer Treatment Center.

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