Apryl has been diagnosed with aggressive and rare form of breast cancer known as Inflammatory Breast Cancer back in March, 2016. She is at the Stage IV and was 7 months pregnant at the time of her diagnosis. Our husbands own a small business together and they are partners. Right away when I heard about this, my heart dropped down. I felt I couldn't just do nothing and watch them suffer through the fight. But what can I do? Apryl is a beautiful person who actually enjoys being photographed. I talked to Apryl about me documenting her fight with this evil cancer . Because I knew already that Apryl actually enjoys being photographed and because she is such a brave person, I knew that she might say yes and she did. She was in all the way.
The diagnosis came as a complete shock to everyone who knows Apryl as she is a toughest athlete you ever meet. She climbed on 1,311 stairs at Columbia Towner in Seattle only a week before her diagnosis, 7-months-pregnant, to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma society. I started photographing her after she asked me to take her pregnancy shots while she still has her hair and before the chemo treatment. She was 7 months pregnant. She gave birth 2 months later to a beautiful and healthy baby girl, Heaven.
Giving birth and raising two small children is a lot for any women even if you are perfectly healthy. On top of it, Apryl has to deal with cancer treatment, side effects and other never-ending medical procedures. But she is fighting strongly and taking one positive step at a time.
Sharing her story in this photo essay is another and a very strong way for Apryl to support other women with similar circumstances. Be brave and keep fighting.
I will be adding more images here in the blog section as I capture every step of her journey.
Images © Rika Manabe 2016