Behind every photograph is an inspiring story of

Hope, Positivity & Resilience.

Read personal stories and inspiring messages from Breast Cancer warriors,

complied from Nithya's interviews & candid chats at PINKDAYTOSHINE over the years

Joan Resta
Breast Cancer Warrior

Joan was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in January 2020. While she was still undergoing her radio therapy, Joan came forward to share her message, in hopes to give Hope to others fighting their battle with BreastCancer and to share the importance of getting checkups and early detection to the all the women out there.

I am Joan Resta 42 years old, married with 2 kids. It was in November 2019 when I first felt the pain on my right breast, I was thinking it will go away, but the pain grew stronger.

Then I did self breast examination and felt the lump. At first I was told its benign, got a second opinion , and found out it was cancer. I was sad and scared, I thought about my children.

Cancer changed my life all of a sudden, and the timing was not really good – it was admit the pandemic.

I underwent my first chemo in February. Everything changed for me , and with the pandemic also on the side, it wasn’t easy. I was also Covid positive at one point. This journey I knew wasn’t only for myself, but also taken by the whole family, as I did see them hurt & worried.

It wasn't easy. My family & my doctors & oncologists and church mates who have been praying with me has been my biggest strength during these tough times. I'm currently undergoing my radiotherapy.

Some label it as the “big C” , but the only big C I know comes from my faith. My faith in God grew stronger and I started believing in the power of prayers and positive mindset.

"My message to others is : Do not procrastinate, get yourself checked. Better to do it for prevention. You will never know who will get it. I never expected to get it.

Take care of your self and love yourself, there are many people who love you also.Hold on to your Faith, do your prayers. Be open about what you have been going through, ask for help. Many people are willing to listen and support. Know that you are not alone in this battle! ", Joan

'I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing this lovely mother of two. I hope her message helps others fighting their Battle with BreastCancer. #pinkdaytoshine celebrates amazing women like Joan gracefully Battling Breast Cancer. ', Nithya Rajkumar

Tania Abiad
Breast Cancer Survivor

Meet Tania a two time Breast Cancer survivor who joined us on #PINKDAYTOSHINE 2019. When I spoke to Tania for the first time for a photography project in support of Breast Cancer survivors, I instantly recognized a confident, happy & strong individual who with her attitude of Gratitude & her positive spirit had been fighting all odds against Breast Cancer.

"Cancer has an effect on your body, your psyche on everything", Tania said smiling with tear filled eyes. It is tough to open up about the moments where one has been the most vulnerable physically & mentally yet Tania shares her story in hopes to help others.

"In 2013 I felt a small lump tiny as a pea I decided to get it checked. The doctor came back with my results being positive for Breast Cancer . When I heard this for the first time, I was more worried about my family, their response and their pain than mine. I knew, I had to be strong for them. The journey was tough. More than anything , Chemo kind of just knocks you out , sometimes it would leave me unable to get up from my sofa for few days in a row. But thankfully with the support of my family, my friends , a positive attitude and a positive atmosphere around me, helped me in every step of the way.

Almost 5 yrs later , I was feel great, there were no symptoms. One day as I was lying in bed I felt a lump. This time it wasn't a pea size but more like a muscle. I got myself checked and the genealogist brushed it off to be nothing. My doctor was traveling at the time. I ignored the sensation I felt and my doubts. But while , I am there ignoring it, it was getting bigger. My doctor was back, and during one of the monthly checkups, I got this checked. It was Breast cancer the second time and had spread to my limbs. Again chemo, radio therapy, clearing limp nodes and now double mastectomy. I didn’t hesitate to do a double mastectomy when the doctor suggested. I felt I needed to do whatever was necessary and better for my health. Chemo this time around was stronger than the chemo I had. My approach to positive visualisation, from imagining the red light to be a magical light healing & removing the bad things in my body, helped me a lot. "

Tania's message to everyone is : "I can't reinstate the fact that Early Detection saves lives. Please don't procrastinate. I got it once at the age of 35 and then at the age of 40.

It's important to get checked once a year, especially if you are over 30 years of age. Always trust your gutt when you feel something is off. Never ever wait. The timing is extremely crucial when dealing with a possibility of cancer. Do take a second opinion, especially when you feel something isn't right.

Talk to your cells, visualize, manifest, eat healthy, think positive, slow down, be mindful, remove toxic people, and more than anything else have THE WILL & DESIRE TO LIVE! There are so many of us out there, who have COME THROUGH AGAINST ALL ODDS. Wishing you good health now and always.”

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: Paula Gioga Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot with: Nikon Z6 85mm1.4

Anna Liamtseva
Breast Cancer Warrior

Anna shares her story:

"Cancer doesn’t know the age , the gender and your attitude .

This March 9th 2020, ( post Women’s day in my country Ukraine) , I went to collect my ultrasound and biopsy results with full assurance that I am healthy and didn’t have anything.

Life changed 360degrees after that day : I cried , I calmed down , I cried again.... Having triple negative breast cancer stage 2 at age of 33 sounded like something not for me .

But life goes on no matter what . With support of my family , my friends, 2 kids and definitely my best husband I went through 16 rounds of chemo and double mastectomy surgery with positive spirit and great belief in life and it’s wonders."

"My two little kids, they helped me. I fought for my kids. I can stand up to anything for them", with tear filled eyes Anna said.

Anna's message to everyone : “Breast self exam should be a routine at least few times per year. Be vigilant and know your body well! There is no particular age for the cancer. For me it was at the age of 33.

Keep the spirit up, live one day at a time , and enjoy what you are doing today. We human beings are so strong , we can go through any hardships ! Hope for the best and everything will pass quickly 🙏🏻".

"And recently I have celebrated my second birthday on September 22 , 2020 - when I got my pathology reports stating I have no cancer cells in my body ! Life is wonderful and wonders happen! "

"It been my honor to have met Anna who is a fellow young mom. We shared some tearful moments as Anna shared the ordeals she went through as a mother, a primary caregiver to her young kids. #PINKDAYTOSHINE has been an emotionally challenging project for me but with a lot of takeaways. Anna has taught me the importance of positive thinking & of having a purpose and about keeping up a positive attitude amidst," Nithya Rajkumar

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: @paulag.mua Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot with: #Z6 #85mm14

Cheryl Cox
Breast Cancer Survivor

Meet Cheryl who is a passionate florist based in Dubai , whose world shook as she found out about having Breast Cancer on November of 2019. When I met Cheryl she had just undergone her second surgery few weeks ago, yet she came forward gracefully accepting this special treat extended in honor of her and many alike.

"Thankyou for reaching out to me. November 2019, I went to see a doctor because of the severity of menopausal symptoms I was having. Before treating me she asked me to several tests and one of them was a routine mammogram. I had only done one mammogram before and that was about 5 years previous. On Nov 13th I got a call that shook my world. I had Breast Cancer and that I would need to have it treated as soon as possible. I was in shock and it took me days to process what it all meant. Going through the unknown elements of chemotherapy with all the dreaded side effects was daunting. I had to take it one step at a time, one session at a time. Recovery from the first surgery was very painful and slow. It’s been a tough year for me. I had to take it one step at a time, one session at a time. I knew it will take at least a year to see any significant improvement. But every day, its a little bit better. I know, that now I have come quite far. In so many ways I feel blessed. God has got me through the toughest of days, and I am now looking forward to the future. ",Cheryl

Cheryl's message to others : "It has been a great day at #pinkdaytoshine. I really would encourage you to reach out to other women in the similar situation and to connect & get that support. It is really important to have that support group, it really makes a world of a difference.

Although I know breast cancer awareness has come a long way,I still think not enough is being said about it in general conversations.I am taking every opportunity I get to share my story with friends and family.

It's not a life sentence - Breast Cancer.There is always HOPE at the end of it. It is really important for us to look beyond the present worries and look forward to the future, and all that LIFE has for us. "

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: Priyanka Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot with: #Z6 #85mm14

Catherine Chilton
Breast Cancer Survivor

"I was diagnosed with Advanced stage 3 breast cancer in March 2014. I underwent a double mastectomy and lymph node removal followed by 6 months of chemotherapy, then 5 weeks of daily Radiation followed by another year of chemotherapy. At the time of diagnosis my boys were only 5yrs and 6 yrs old.

Prior to Breast Cancer I used to get regular check ups. When I had my children, I blinked and it was 6yrs and I never got myself checked. In that 6yrs I developed advanced stage 3 Breast Cancer, one of the lumps being 8cm.

The thing that kept me going, and gave me a reason to fight Breast Cancer are my 2 boys who gave me strength and my husband who was always by my side. ", Catherine.

Cathrine’s message to everyone is: “Keep up your regular checks. Especially ladies with young children tend to forget about themselves. Keep up the regular checks, see a doctor once every year. Every month do self examination. A large majority of the ladies that discover Breast Cancer, discover themselves through self checks.

Every woman I have met who have had Breast Cancer, have one thing in common. Not one of us believed it would happen to us. Cancer is non discriminative , sadly. If you catch it early, it’s probably a stage zero with no radiation or chemotherapy. Don’t be an idiot (excuse my expression) that I was. I was foolish to stop checking myself as I was so focused on being a Mum. But we are only useful as being a mother if we look after ourselves. "

'The lovely Catherine joined me on #pinkdaytoshine 2020 to share her story of Breast Cancer, with much enthusiasm and a warm smile. She has been actively involved with projects that raise Breast Cancer awareness. Being a young mother myself, I could instantly resonate to what Catherine was trying to tell me and many other fellow moms out there. As mothers, especially new moms tend to prioritize children & family or to an extend even work, yet we tend to loose ourselves in the whole picture. All mothers and caregivers out there, you need to look after yourselves, in order that you can look after your loved ones.'- Founder Nithya

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: @paulag.mua Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot with: #z6 #85mm14. Nikon D850 24-70mm

Priyanka Gupta
Breast Cancer Survivor

Priyanka's hearty smile, zest for life and her can do attitude is what I instantly admired about her. She underwent breast cancer few years ago. She shared how some days were very tough.

Though cancer free , her arms were left weak post treatment. She was determined to not let Cancer take over her spirit and her dreams.

Priyanka says ," It wasn’t easy. But I never gave up on myself. If I did, no one can help me. So I kept doing everything I can. My arms were left weak post Breast Cancer. There is only one life. I worked on my body and I supported it. I underwent strict physio therapy. I ensured I ate greens and did regular yoga. I found how your breath can help heal your body.Now Nithya, I play golf, a game that requires arm strength. Yes, I never let Cancer dictate what I can do or I can't."

Priyanka's message to other's is :

"Never let Cancer dictate what YOU can do or YOU can't. Practise gratitude, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and I highly recommend Yoga. There is always two sides to every story, stay on the positive side and stay grateful.

I hope to share this message to everyone out there. Pinkdaytoshine ! "

I hope Priyanka’s inspiring words reach out to many others out there.

It was my pleasure to meet Priyanka and many others this #pinkdaytoshine2020

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: Priyanka Sarkar Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot with: #Z6 #85mm14 , Nikon D850 24-70mm

Yusra Zubair
Breast Cancer Survivor

Did you know that 5% of breast cancer cases occur in women under 40 years of age.

Meet this young Mom who battled Breast Cancer at the age of 30.

Yusra's message to everyone : "Younger women tend ignore the warning signs—such as a breast lump or an unusual discharge as they believe they are too young to get breast cancer. Be aware of your body. Be aware of the signs to watch for. Get yourself checked.

Tell yourself that no matter how tough days may seem, you will stand by your self. Keep going. Fight the cancer with your positive attitude & smile"

"In 2018, I lost myself. Physically I lost my body parts like my breasts, my hair, my eyelashes and eyebrows, as I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I don't have the same strength or energy but what I do feel is gratitude. I feel so fortunate for all the people who helped me get past the last 8 months, especially my parents and my husband. I feel so blessed to be born in a culture where family stays together, forever. Alhumdullilah. I am so happy to be on the other side. F*** you, Cancer. You didn't get the best of me. I will never take my life or health for granted and I will live each day to the fullest. I found strength at my weakest, I found light in my darkness, I found beauty in my scars.", shared Yusra.

"I always love to smile. I should say I smiled through BreastCancer. There have been tough days with Chemo & post chemo the journey was still long & hard, but I took it one day at a time. Never let anything take your Smile away.", shares Yusra .

Meeting Yusra, I learned that 'No Cancer can change who you are in the Core. You are still the same person. That person who loves to smile. That person who loves the beautiful relationships & connections. That person who embraces life with gratitude.'

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: Priyanka Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot with: #Z6 #85mm14

Jennie Hennessy
Breast Cancer Survivor

"I'm Jennie, I am 44 and mother of 2 lovely daughters. I don't post much on social media so this is stepping out of my comfort zone big time. October 2019 I joined a group in my community doing a couch to 5k. I was never a runner, I could walk for miles but not run to save my life. I made great friends in this group and we continued to run together daily and joined run events on the weekends. In 2020 I was the fittest and healthiest I'd been in years and I felt great. One day in June 2020 I was giving my hairdresser full control over a funky new rainbow hair look for me and a week later I'm sitting in a Dr's office with my husband being told I have breast cancer.

As if 2020 didn't have enough hurdles for us to jump already with the arrival of COVID 19.

I have always believed that no matter what life throws at you, all you can do is take each day as it comes. These words I have often used while facing hurdles in life. So in June 2020 when I was diagnosed with Her2 grade 3 breast cancer I knew, I could only deal with this one day at a time.

I knew I've got a battle ahead but all I can do is show up, let the treatments do what needs to be done so I can recover and get back to being fit and healthy. To date I have had 13 weeks of chemotherapy, it is not a walk in the park but it is not like it is shown in the movies. The biggest struggle I found is the fatigue and how I can't do all the simple things I took for granted. The other struggle was the loss of my hair. One day after a shower my body was covered in loose hair from my head, I just couldn't cope with that any more. I went told my husband. It was so emotional, but I gave both girls a turn as we shaved it all away the tears turned to laughter. My hair , it was gone, it was weird but it'll grow back. It was a tough choice but the right one for me, I was truly relieved .

Being separated from most of my family at this time is so difficult but I need to accept the situation and take the positive aspects. If I had travelled home to Ireland this summer I wouldn't have been diagnosed when I was and treatment would not been started as quickly - meaning this could have been much worse. The one thing that helped me , was that it was caught early enough and it wasn't life threatening. I am currently going through chemotherapy and nearing my surgery stage. It is a roller coaster of emotions and procedures that no one knows about until they go through it. Step by step and day by day I'll get through this as best I can with my husband and daughters by my side helping me smile and shine through🥰", shared Jennie in our brief interview on Oct 2020.

Jennie's message to everyone is : "You need to think positive and know that although you have no control over what is happening, You have got this and that cancer doesn't control you. Delaying getting checked only gives a greater chance of cancer spreading so please don't delay and get yourself checked regularly. If mine was caught a bit earlier, it may been easier to treat , than the long road I have now ahead of me.
It's hard to plan ahead when you don't know what's fully around the corner so you just concentrate on what's going on in your current state of treatment. Just take each day as it comes and do your best to be positive to get through it. There are always good days and bad but the good ones are the ones worth fighting for!

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: Priyanka Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot with: #Z6 #85mm1.4

Souzan Salaheldin
Breast Cancer Survivor

A teacher at a reputed school in Dubai, Souzan fought her way through cancer despite the odds she had to face. Rather she never let Breast Cancer dullen her spirits.

"I just celebrated my 8th year of no cancer. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 and I had to remove my right breast as I had a 4 cm tumor. I later chose to have a bilateral mastectomy because there was a chance to have the same issue in my left side, I also thought I can do the reconstruction for both sides after finishing chemo treatment. I am so lucky to have such a great family and to have friends who stood by my side and gave me strength when I needed it. The strength and the support I needed the most was from my husband who was sadly, very cold and never came with me to the doctor or to the chemo sessions and we had to break up a few months later. That never stopped me from fighting for myself. This pushed me to share with my students and teach them to be active partcpants in their community by spreading awareness. My students also designed bracelets for lymphodema patients and will be selling them to raise fund for breast cancer research.", Souzan

Souzan's message to everyone: "My advice to every woman is to love herself and to listen to her body. Never ignore symptoms and act as soon as you sense any changes and you will be celebrating years and years of healthy living."

From Nithya's interview with Souzan in 2019

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: Mehreen Nabeel Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot with: Nikon D850 85mm 1.8 , 24-70 2.8

Tara Rowledge
Breast Cancer Survivor

Her eyes reflects her smiling heart. It’s said nothing shakes a smiling heart. Meet Tara who joined us for #pinkdaytoshine shoot for the first time in 2019. When we met again in #pinkdaytoshine2020, it was a pleasure to see how far she had come.

When I connected with her first in 2019, she was coping with Breast Cancer and was undergoing her last few sessions of Chemo.Her strength and jolly spirit caught me instantly during our first telecon. Her tip to others is to not become the cancer, but to simply focus on the beauty of life and all the good that what holds ahead. She comes with a strong passion to support her body through Breast Cancer. Staying fit and eating healthy is her commitment to her beautiful life.

Tara shares her story: "I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast cancer is July 2019. I went through 20 sessions of chemo therapy, double mastectomy and 6 rounds of radio therapy in 2019. During that time in October last year (2019) I was invited to #pinkdaytoshine which was a great way of meeting other ladies who have been through similar situations as myself, each of them in different stages. It was a great way to connect with others and sharing our experience to help other people as well. I have now had 20 sessions of Chemo, 36 sessions of radiotherapy and since the pinkdaytoshine2020 I have had reconstruction surgery in Nov 2020 and fat transfer surgery in August 2021. Cancer didn’t break me it only made be Stronger. "

Tara's message to everyone : "Just listen to your body! Get yourself checked regularly, don't ignore any signs. Try and stay positive. It wasn't easy, I can say there were particularly dark times. I took it one day at a time. I got through it trying to have a big smile of my face most of the time. Surround yourself with people who make you happy, those who lift you up. For me it was my husband, my family & my close friends."

From Nithya's interview with Tara in 2019 and 2020

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: Paula Gioga Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot with: Nikon Z6 85mm1.4 , Nikon D850 85mm 1.8 , 24-70 2.8

Umaima Tinwala
Breast Cancer Survivor

Umaima Tinwala is a senior media professional currently working as a communication and knowledge manager, and has been in the UAE for over 19 years. She is also an active speaker at various podiums raising awareness on Breast Cancer.

I connected with Umaima in October 2019, and when I first shared about my project, Umaima's words were "I love your idea because it actually works towards lifting someone's spirit when they need it the most. Let me know how I can help." She was instantly a part of this project, joining hands with a mission to raise Breast Cancer awareness together.

Umaima shares : "I was diagnosed in early 2014 after I discovered a lump. I was very lucky that I discovered it at stage 1, so I could beat it with the right treatment protocol. I had surgery and then a year-long treatment with lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and I was on hormonal medication for the next 4 years, and is now cancer free. It has been very tough. I had lost my own mother to cancer in 2011. It has been something in my family and we have suffered a lot due to it. Therefore, when I found out I had cancer it was very difficult and very scary. For my daughter, I had to stay very strong and I had to fight this cancer.

The biggest challenge I faced was trying to create an environment that somehow felt normal, especially for my daughter who was 9 years old at the time I was diagnosed. I wanted to make her a part of my journey rather than keeping her away or hiding things from her. I think that if she would hear things from other people, or read things about cancer that weren’t relevant to me, it would scare her even more. So, this was a big challenge for me, especially in moments of weakness during my treatment and the pain, I had to constantly remind myself to be strong and stay positive and smiling. Everything that happened to me affected her. On the flipside, this worked out well for me because her presence forced me to stay happy and positive. This went a long way in me getting better and recovering faster. I don’t think I would have managed otherwise, I would have broken down. She has been my motivation and inspiration.

People know me as a strong person. But I do feel all the emotional lows, there were some tough days but those are very private moments and there are very few people who I do show that side to."

Umaima's message to others: “We do have moments in our lives when we feel defeated but we need to reach out and find that motivation. We need to find that reason – why are we doing what we are doing? Why do we want what we want? Once that is clear in our head it automatically pushes us towards that and to do whatever is needed to achieve that. I think we need to stop putting this pressure on us that we need to be the best and the strongest. Another thing I learned in my illness is that we place too many expectations on ourselves. I was this person who was so independent, doing everything for myself. When I got sick, I realized it is okay to ask for help. It is ok to let other people take care of you. Sometimes we have this ego issue about these things. We tend to think that taking help from someone will make them think that they are doing us a favor. But so what? Doing someone a favor makes them feel good that they are doing something nice for you, so what is the harm in that? It is all a matter of perspective!”

From Nithya's interview with Umaima in 2019 and updated in 2020

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: Garcie Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot with: #Z6 #85mm14

Randa Mushtaha
Breast Cancer Survivor

"My name is Randa Mushtaha, 49 years old born and lived all my life in UAE. I am a mother of 3 children and am currently working as the Business Development Director at almentor.net.

End of 2014, I was diagnosed with breast cancer (after 2 wrong diagnosis) stage1 hormonal positive. It was very aggressive , the lump was growing really fast. I had to do mastectomy followed by chemo therapy and Herceptin treatment. One year later, I was invited to join Al Jalila Foundation Breast Cancer Group and from there started passing my inspiring messages and supporting new patients. I enjoy it and I hope those little words I say are making a bit of a difference in someone’s life. I never stopped working. It kept me busy. I never lost hope and I am now back to my normal life.

Questions stormed in and fear and anxiety enveloped me soon after my news of Breast Cancer being positive. What’s next? What about my kids? What about my family? What is going to happen? It was the moment I wasn’t feeling in control anymore. My life changed, I changed.

I accepted the fact that I was sick. A sudden set back in my life, which I kept reassuring myself that I’ll pass through it. When I was young I was afraid of this disease and made the mistake of avoiding hearing anything about it or being fully aware of it. Later I discovered that this fear might have been a reason for my late diagnosis. My doctor started listing down procedures I have to undertake, but I was disconnected, in shock. I met my surgeon and a week after my diagnosis, I went in for my mastectomy. It was hard for me to accept to lose a part that was partially identifying my femininity, me spiritually and physically.

The only way I was able to pass through this all is by spending time with my kids and family. I needed them around as much as they did. It is weird having something that is totally consuming and affecting your life in terms of pain and mental health, but when people look at you, they can’t see it. I used to stay home for ten days after my chemo, and then have a week long party before the next session – and go everywhere I can go and do everything I can do to build up my spirit for the next session and the ten days after it. Chemo did exhaust me, but it couldn’t touch the spark within. That helped to carry me through to the finish line. I realized that I am a lot stronger than I'd given myself credit. In truth, we often rise up and surface with hidden strength during times when we have no choice but to plow through. We put one foot in front of the other because moving forward is the only thing we know how to do. That's when I discovered I can handle the unimaginable after all. I have to say that I got a lot of strength from my parents and family, my husband and my children. It brought us all closer together.

Cancer though it might have robbed me of certain things like my health, it was powerless to take away the things in my life that mattered the most. My family, my inner strength, my wild spirit and my motivation. It planted deeper roots for them instead."

Randa's message to others: "Listen to your body and you will know if there is anything wrong. Don’t ignore the signs. In life we go through difficult situations everyday and we learn to conquer them . We work hard and sometimes we fall and we get back up again and continue our journey. Why do we have to be afraid of Cancer. Imagine a wave coming towards you. If you stand in the way. It will hit you, but when u surrender to the wave , you will flow with it. I didn’t fight Cancer as it isn’t a war. I gave in , but I never gave up on my self. Breast cancer journey has taught me a lot. It makes me happy to see more campaigns happening around it to increase awareness to this disease and the benefits of early detection. Don’t delay your regular checkups; that doesn’t make a better reality, instead, it makes a miserable one. With all the things I lost during my Journey, I gained a much more valuable aspect in return. I am grateful to my breast cancer for taking away the fear within me and thankful to God that I am still here sharing my story with the whole World."

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: Gracie Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot With : Nikon D850 85mm and 24-70mm

Gulshan Abdul Nabee
Breast Cancer Survivor

Gulshan, came across as a calm and happy individual as I connected with her over a telecon and then later for the #PINKDAYTOSHINE shoot in 2019. She shared her journey with Breast Cancer and how she supported her body through it. Her attitude and her managing a diet helped her through the rather difficult days of Chemo treatments.

"I am a breast cancer survivor and did my operation in 2010. When I was first diagnosed positive for Breast Cancer, I did not have any idea about the the treatment and procedures of Breast Cancer. When my doctors told me I had to take Chemo, again I was fully unaware of the side effects of chemo, the durations and the process I will have to go through. I took my first chemo in Mumbai, India and the very next day I travelled back to Dubai. At that time I did not have any side effects but when I took my second one I had a very bad experience I got all the side effects like vomiting, ulcer in my mouth had difficulty in eating and this was making my immunity very weak but I fought and got over it.

As a precaution, to ensure that I get my chemo therapy regularly, I managed and maintained my diet throughout my treatment. I did everything to build my immunity and I kept my mind strong.

You should have a good immunity to face the chemo therapy. I worked on to build it through my diet and my mind set. I ate plenty of fruits, green salads, coconut water and I loved having all the berry juices and also consumed goose berry juice regularly. Ayurvedic medicines also helped me, with building my bodies strength and immunity. All this really helped me with handling my sessions. I had difficulty consuming solid foods, and hence I used to drink a lot of juices. I accepted that I have to be treated and I was ready to support my body with the treatments mentally.

Every time I used to go for my Chemo therapy, my immunity used to be very good and as per doctors there were no drawbacks. They were also very happy. I was happy I could continue with my medication. And most important is to keep your mind strong. Build your will power to handle this disease and its treatments.", Gulshan

Gulshan's message to others : " I would advise you to support your body and help it build its immunity to fight this cancer and manage the side effects of its treatments. The most important thing is to keep your mind strong. Build your will power. you should never view it as getting medication for a "very big disease". If you mind is accepting and viewing something as "BIG", it will always become BIG and will be difficult to manage. If your mind is viewing it as a simple occurrence, and when you are leading a simple less anxious life, everything will become simple for you.

If you are coping with Breast Cancer and its treatments don't feel disheartened. But know that you will get over it. And please make sure to keep your immunity and diet properly."

From Nithya's telephonic interview with Gulshan in 2019

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: Mehreen Nabeel Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Nikon D850 85mm1.8 and 27-70 mm 2.8

Irina McGowan

Breast Cancer Survivor

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2015, three months after arriving to Dubai. I’m a mother of 2 boys and they were 10 and 12 years old at the time of diagnosis. I didn’t want to worry them and kept it a secret till a year later when I finished my treatment. I had my surgery beginning of January 2016, done by the wonderful Dr Houriya Kazim. 2/02/2016 I started with the chemotherapy, the course of which I couldn’t fully complete due to complications. A month later I started radiotherapy, 35 fractions and traveling for it to Abu Dhabi. I was also receiving Herseptin - hormone treatment which was completed in January 2017.

I do regular checkups every 3 months. I’ve made huge changes to every aspect of my lifestyle, including food (I eat mostly plant based organic food), managing stress levels ( I’ve become a Psychotherapist and educate people on the role of stress in cancer and other ailments), household chemicals ( I use plant based), personal care and beauty products ( I apply things on my skin that are edible + essential oils), I spend more time exercising etc.

I enjoy and value life more now and am eager to bring awareness to other ladies.", Irina

From Nithya's telephonic interview with Irina in 2019

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: Paula Gioga Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot with: #Z6 #85mm14

Rekha Dubey Gupta
Breast Cancer Warrior

A mother of two, Rekha Dubey joined us in Dubai in 2019, amidst her treatment.

As she was undergoing her chemo treatments at the time, I wasn't sure if she would be able to join us on the PINKDAYTOSHINE event. However amidst her treatment, this rather joyful and enthusiastic young mom , joined us for a brief time. It was indeed my pleasure to photograph and connect with this amazing fellow mom.

She is a true fighter and while photographing her, I saw a true warrior of Breast Cancer before me.

As she continues her treatments, we send her and her family all love and blessings!

Photography & editing : @nithyarajkumar.in , Makeup Artist: Gracie Location partner: @rovehotels

Imaging Partner: @nikonmea#nikonmea Shot with: Nikon D850 85mm 1.8

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