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    Meet the TNBC Community Behind the Shoot

    The Lori Goldstein x AnaOno collection is about bringing fashion and purpose together in the hopes to bring more awareness and support to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Community. Each model photographed in this collection has their own story about Triple Negative Breast Cancer and about their journey through the disease. Read along to learn about each of the obstacles they faced and how they overcame them and the disease.

    Meet Lorelei Colbert

     Tell us about your diagnosis

    "We hosted our Zoom wedding on July 3, 2020, with friends tuning in from around the world. The lump was found on August 26, 2020 and I was diagnosed on September 15, 2020, with Stage 2B, Grade 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer at age 28. This was after I learned to advocate for myself-- requesting a breast exam and insisting for the first available biopsy appointment after a doctor said the 3.6cm mass in my right breast looked "mostly benign." I had 8 chemotherapy treatments of dose dense AC/T and decided to dream up and launch the 'Chemo the Kindness Challenge' to raise awareness and spread the good during those 16 weeks. The challenge generated more than 1,700 acts of kindness around the world and truly lifted my spirits on hard days. I had my bilateral mastectomy a day after my 29th birthday on March 17, 2021. My swap surgery was in June. And I've been learning to navigate survivorship ever since."

    How did your caregivers help you through the process?

    "The question is-- how did they NOT help me?!? My caregivers, specifically my husband, best friend, and family, lifted me up on every low point. They prepared meals when I needed to eat, kept me on schedule with medication, took on house chores, walked our dog, shaved my head, walked with me after surgeries, supported my efforts with the 'Chemo to Kindness Challenge,' and helped us move into our new house. They even read acts of kindness aloud to me when one of the medications blurred my vision for a week. One day, I could feel the energy lowering as we all got in the rut of chemo. I decided to surprise my caregivers and request to treat them to a "caregivers’ lunch" and honor them with something outside of the routine. We also talked about making time for things that filled their cup. Facing cancer is hard. Watching your loved one face cancer is also hard. Caregivers need love, too. The kindness community - my online network and beyond - lifted me up with acts of kindness. They would do something kind and tell me about it on social media to raise awareness and spread the good. I highly recommend finding and creating these pockets of joy during hard times. P.S. My husband was truly a rockstar caregiver from the day we found the lump, through treatment and survivorship. I am so grateful for his love and support to face this beast as a team with strength and courage. He embraced each chapter and made me feel beautiful and empowered in my own skin when I felt like I was in someone else's body. He was with me every step. He was my arms when I couldn't move them and my tissue many nights."

    What do you do to feel confident and embrace your body?

    "I love and honor all that my body has been through. I massage out and love on my scars and celebrate the beauty of still being alive. I am here. My body is here. I gained about thirty pounds throughout treatment, and I learned to embrace my body for all that it's gone through. It was hard to initially accept, but I told myself if this is what I needed to get through this, then this is what we're doing! I didn't fit in my clothes, so I bought bigger ones that worked for my new body. I got new makeup so I could still find moments to glam up and feel like myself. I said yes to taking photos whenever and wherever because I was still here. I embraced the NOW. After active treatment, I continued to love my body with where it was at and slowly focused on nutrition and fitness. Almost all of the gained weight is gone, but the scars are still here, and my body holds weight a little differently. Nonetheless, I LOVE this body more than I ever have. Because of those lessons learned on my journey with TNBC. I am here. I will embrace and love on my body today. The photoshoot was such an incredible experience to celebrate and honor my body after the journey we've been on. It was truly an honor and a dream!!!!!"

    Want to learn more about Lorelei? Check her out instagram @loreleicolbert

    TNBC Thriver and Model Lorelei Colbert

     

    Meet Carrie Kreiswirth

    Tell us about your diagnosis

    "I was diagnosed in 2013 with Stage 1 triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma. Following my double mastectomy with DIEP flap reconstruction, I underwent chemotherapy and eventually a preventative salpingo-oophorectomy (to remove my ovaries and Fallopian tubes) due to my BRCA1 status."

    If you were able to give advice to someone diagnosed with TNBC- what would you say?

    "You are not alone. There is an incredible community behind you every step of the way - to help guide you, share in your experiences, and continue to support you in ways you never thought possible."

    What is your passion?

    "Human connection and purpose. Helping others be and become the best versions of themselves through love, support, and encouragement."

    What do you wish people knew about TNBC?

    "That it is incredibly aggressive, especially within the first couple of years following diagnosis, and is in dire need of additional funding for research and resources."

    Want to learn more about Carrie? Check her out on Instagram @ckreiswirth

    Meet TNBC thriver Carrie Kreiswirth

     Meet Abby Match

    Tell us about your diagnosis 

    "I found out I had Triple Negative Breast Cancer on August 5, 2020. After genetic testing I found out I had the BRCA1 mutation as well. Scans revealed that I had lymph node involvement, and I was staged at 2b. I began with chemotherapy, followed by a bilateral mastectomy where 22 lymph nodes were removed and reconstruction was completed, and finished the course with 5 weeks of radiation. I was very fortunate to have had a pathological complete response, which is a great outcome with this subtype of breast cancer. There are never any guarantees with breast cancer because it is unfair, complicated, and sneaky, but this helped my prognosis. After all the necessary treatments, I later had a full hysterectomy as my chance of ovarian cancer because significantly higher due to the BRCA1 mutation. In addition, I had breast reconstruction to remove my expanders, which stretched my skin for 9 months and prepared my chest for implants. During treatment, I also changed my lifestyle to help with all these very necessary medications, treatments, and surgeries. I think it is important to share because not only do I believe in a balance of eastern and western medicine, but I am also proof that it aided in my healing as I feel the best I have ever felt in my life. With TNBC not having a lot of treatment options and especially after you walk away from completing everything in the kitchen sink, you are desperate for something. My something is plant-based eating, movement, and mindfulness!"

    How did your caregivers help you through the process?

    "This was extremely difficult as I was diagnosed and treated in the height of the pandemic. To give you an idea on the challenges it posed, I had my husband (Seth) sitting in the garage parking lot at initial consultations where I called him to sit in on discussions. Seth drove me curbside to all chemotherapy appointments and surgeries. Our parents are not local, but they all planned to be there with us throughout this time. We had them trading time to stay with us to help and they were amazing at keeping our household sane."

    If you were to give advice to someone diagnosed with TNBC- what would you say?

    "Each day you get through this is another day closer to medical breakthroughs being discovered for better outcomes around TNBC. Find a comprehensive cancer center for your care and the option of clinical trials if that is needed down the road. If this means you need to go for 3 different opinions before treatment, please do it! I landed with my 3rd opinion and let me tell you, they saved my life with a more thorough and aggressive plan for surgery. When you can trust your team, you can then trust the process.

    That cliche saying out there that you don't know how strong you are until strong is being the only choice. Yeah, that's true and that is you. You will of course of have days you don't feel strong, and you don't have to be!!! I get it. Overall, I know you are going to surprise yourself by jumping right in to do the hardest thing you ever have done because you don't have a choice. That is strength. That is, you."

    Want to learn more about Abby? Check her out on Instagram @abbymatch

    Meet TNBC Thriver Abby Match 

     Meet Rachel Marx

    Tell us about your diagnosis

    "Feb 2016 my initial diagnosis was TNBC Invasive Ductal Carcinoma -- chemo/lumpectomy radiation Nov 2017 - recurrence: cell structure had changed to TNBC MetaPlastic (chondroid subtype) -- chemo/unilateral mastectomy with expander. Rejected and removed after 2 months. Living joyfully half-flat April 2019 - metastasis into lung -- surgery NED since Navigating life somewhere between stage 4 and NED."

    What do you do to feel confident and embrace your body?

    "I remember that I didn't ask for this nor, did anything to bring it upon myself therefore I have absolutely zero to be ashamed by/about. I remember (with awe) all that my body has carried me through and try to treat it with an appropriate degree of appreciation and admiration. I remember that hiding myself limits my ability to live fully in joy. I've had enough taken from me -- I refuse to give away more to conform to what anyone else thinks my body should look like."

    What does Never Alone mean to you?

    "For better or worse, there are many, many others like me out there who I can reach out to for support. Others who 'get it', who can offer tips, tricks, & encouragement. Others who want me/us to live our most full, beautiful lives. AnaOno is a part of those 'others' and serves to connect us all while also making us feel beautiful and worthy."

    What is your passion?

    "I love finding new/different/weird things to do in my city, as well as traveling and exploring everywhere I can!"

    Want to learn more about Rachel? Check her out on Instagram @baesymmetrical

     Meet Tiffany Clifton-Reed

    Tell us about your diagnosis

    "I was diagnosed with IDC TNBC Stage 1B, on October 28, 2020. I had a Lumpectomy on December 22, 2020, and started radiation in February of 2021, where I did 20 rounds of radiation. All this while in the middle of Grad School, smh. What a journey, this has been!"

    What do you wish people knew about TNBC?

    "That most patients of color are not offered clinical trials until it’s at an advanced stage and that people of color are underrepresented in clinical trials yet have the highest mortality rate!"

    What do you do to feel confident and embrace your body?

    "While I am not at the weight I would like to be until I get there, I have accepted my body shape. For one my husband always tells me I looked good so that totally helps. I focused on positive affirmations, think healthier not some much about size and I stopped the negative talk about my body, which my husband would say, stop saying you're fat, which I did not realize I was saying it, so much. I get massages more often along with pedicures and manicures. Finally, I focus on what I like about myself."

    What would you like to share with the Never Alone Community?

    "If you are afraid to advocate for yourself, just contact me and will give you some courage. The journey may be tough at times, but you will come out even better than before the journey began. I went through a lot during and after treatment, completing grad school, working full time and caring for my husband, who had a stroke after spinal surgery, which changed our lifestyle. But I continued to thrive in ways, I never imagined and met some amazing people and organizations along the way!!! Everyone's journey will be different."

    Want to learn more about Tiffany? Check her out on Instagram @ilovetiff72

    Meet Karen Peterson 

    Tell us about your diagnosis

    I was diagnosed with Stage IV 5-year MTNBC. I was a patient who advocated and founded a nonprofit to specifically address and support patients of color around health literacy & clinical trials. Working with researchers and other community-based organizations, I have been able to take my miraculous story of resilience, self-education, and ability to translate complicated scientific information, and created a platform that educates and informs patients of the value of their voice, their journey and embracing evolving treatment options which include clinical research. For more information check out my club, Karen's Club!

    What is your passion?

    "Helping people to become educated and empowered to make informed decisions! I know my story is one in a million, so I pay it forward, one person, patient, and family member at a time. I get huge fulfillment when a patient finally understands complicated scientific information and clinical research and how those tools can be used as treatment options, that can be tailored to the patients’ specific needs. I'm like a proud mom in the wings, watching as each patient is supported and educated to the point that they feel really empowered to take control of their treatment journey. That is the goal every time I encounter a patient."

    If you were to give advice to someone diagnosed with TNBC- what would you say?

    "Take a deep breath and be kind to yourself. Find an advocate, patient navigator, social worker to provide support. To address the treatment options, try and find an expert who has real world, relevant experience with TNBC, some research experience, and above all values your voice and makes you feel seen, heard and counted."

    Want to learn more about Karen? Check her out on Instagram @sweetlenox

     

    Dana Donofree

    Dana Donofree

    Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.