Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Month of September

I had the pleasure of photographing two remarkable women from Fremont, Ohio: Becky White and Ellen Honsperger.

Becky White (left) is my husband’s aunt and I met her just a few years before she learned that she had breast cancer. Becky was diagnosed in May of 1997. I asked her how she felt when she learned that she had breast cancer and she told me, “I was in shock and it was a very bad year.” Looking at her now, it’s obvious that she has not let it control her life. She’s a very active woman, participates in Race for the Cure and Relay for Life events, works full time, and finds time to travel as well. I also asked her if she had any thoughts she’d like to share and she said this: “It’s a life changing experience. It gives you a new perspective on life. I'm now determined to enjoy the rest of my life and live it to the max!"

On the right is Ellen Honsperger, Fremont, Ohio. Ellen is a 9 year survivor of breast cancer. This was the first time that I had met her, and she radiated a lot of positive energy. She shared with me that prior to her diagnosis, she was a healthy individual and had never had surgery. As I was talking to her about her experience, one part really caught my attention. She told me that she never went alone to any of her chemo or radiation treatments – friends and family worked out their schedules to make sure that someone was always with her! The love and support of her husband Skip, and all of her friends helped her pull through this experience. It seems to me that she is sharing this care now with others through her involvement with the Race for the Cure and Relay for Life events as well.

Becky and Ellen did not know each other before being diagnosed with breast cancer. Now they are part of an elite group of survivors who work together to cheer each other on thru the positives points and the challenging aspects of life.

My name is Michelle White and I’m a freelance photographer in NW Ohio. If you have any questions about this experience or what I do, please contact me at

Back Cover: Sharon and Jim Foster

On February 14, 2001, when Sharon Foster's surgeon informed her that her breast lump was malignant, her immediate response was, "It's not big enough to set a beer on - lets get rid of it!" Sharon and her husband Jim have faced the spectre of breast cancer with the attitude that "Love and laughter help to keep you on the right side of the sod!" That attitude, and their supportive, loving relationship have played a huge part in Sharon's recovery.

Sharon underwent a radical mastectomy, and treatment with Tamoxifen. She is an advocate for self-examination and early detection: she knows that they saved her life.

Photographer: Max Durnford
Photography is the first real hobby that Max Durnford has ever had, and he has taken to it with a passion. Max lost his mother Sharon to cancer in 2005, and a dear friend to breast cancer in November 2007. He feels privileged to be a part of this project. Dance free, Karen.

A Beautiful World

February - Maureen Surkan

Much is done to honour those of us who have experienced Breast Cancer. However, without the "Supporting Cast" this honour is incomplete. To my loving daughters & grandchildren; to my aunts & cousins; to my friends & ferry co-workers; to my dedicated physicians & staff; to the volunteers with the Cancer Society, thank you for being there. Four years ago I found a tiny lump in my left breast. I knew the moment I touched it what it signified. It was confirmed by a diagnosis of "intrusive & invasive" fast-moving breast cancer. Two surgeries to remove the offending lump & some lymphnodes indicated that it had neither intruded or invaded beyond its small form. Four chemotherapy sessions preceded 20 radiation hits with a final diagnosis of less than a 10% chance of re-occurance. I consider myself very fortunate.

My Inspiration:
My best friend Carole often described me as a "cross between PollyAnna & Cinderella". Its true. I have always found something positive in whatever life hands me & have never stopped believing in "Happily Ever After".

Maureen Surkan
Daughter Esther
Grand-daughter Stephanie

Photographer: David Knourek

Saturday, November 24, 2007

July - Jackie Stephenson

When Jackie Stephenson smiles, everyone around her does too. Wearing many hats in her roles of Computer Services Department Head, Wife, Mother, and Grandmother, one would think she would be far too busy to relax and enjoy life. Yet, she can always be found smiling around the small Community College campus where she works. Asked recently about her battle with breast cancer, she told of how her life is better now than ever before. Her reason? Simple - she no longer frets over little things. While undergoing treatment, she spent a lot of time with her young granddaughter. Shown here with her daughter Kelly, Jackie says that the lessons learned from beating cancer changed her life for the better... and that comes shining through every time we see her smile.

This month’s photographer, Billy Ross, began his love of photography nearly two decades ago, while stationed overseas in the Air Force… quite ironic, as both Jackie and her husband turned out to be veterans as well. Billy loves working with people, and also donates photography work to many area charities. His most recent sessions, available prints, and appointment scheduling can be found at

Friday, November 23, 2007

Month of May- Ann Hopper

Meet Ann: Ann Hopper (pictured on the right) is a 38 year old mother of 4 children. She never really thought much about Breast Cancer, so in April 2007 when she discovered a lump in her breast, she didn't think much of it. After a few weeks she decided she should go to her doctor and get it checked out. After all she was thinking it may be a cyst since it seemed to get bigger and smaller. The day she saw her doctor changed her life forever. She was immediately sent to the Breast Specialist where they did a mammogram and an ultrasound. The doctors were 99% sure before the biopsy that it was breast cancer. When the biopsy results came back she was given the official diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma, stage IIIb. She immediately began chemotherapy treatments which lasted for 5 months. After chemo, she had a lumpectomy to remove the two tumors growing in her breast. She is now undergoing radiation therapy.

Through it all she has been a fighter. Refusing to let the cancer get to her. She has continued to live her life as normal as possible, she goes to work, she takes care of her children and she lives life to the fullest.

Meet Erica: Erica is an amateur photographer who lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. This project is near and dear to her heart as Ann is her step-mother and friend. Erica can be reached at