Being diagnosed with breast cancer at under 40 years old is a reality 13,000 women will face in one year alone. Last year, Emily Helck was diagnosed and found herself facing an impending battle with the disease. In turn, she decided to take daily photos to chronicle her treatment. She shared the pics and reflections on her battle with the disease on her blog, The Real Tumors of New Jersey.
At first, she says the photos "had to do with documenting the hair saga. But it wound up becoming about something else, too. The photos became hash marks scratched on the wall, marking time spent inhabiting the world of this disease. Every time I set up the tripod was another week down. Or was it another week lost?" Sad ... but also incredibly brave and important.
Here, Emily's story of the past year in photos rounded up into a one-minute video ...
Amazing. Even though Emily writes, "I'm still not completely sure why I took these photos" and admits she is saddened by them, she also confessed that she feels "like the girl in the photos made it through pretty unscathed."
That in itself is reason enough for her to have done this. She proved to herself and to others that it's possible to get through something extremely challenging and painful and grueling like breast cancer treatment. Emily's photos are sad, yes, but also reassuring, inspiring, bold, brave, and real. And we're all pretty lucky she chose to share them with us.
What do you think of Emily's photos?
Image via Emily Helck/YouTube