Photography project highlights women battling, conquering cancer - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Photography project highlights women battling, conquering cancer

The Warrior Project photograph (Source: Kim Miller/ Ramblin Rose Photography) The Warrior Project photograph (Source: Kim Miller/ Ramblin Rose Photography)

One photographer is making it her mission to let the world know that Memphis women kick butt.

For about a year and a half, Kim Miller has been highlighting Memphis women in her series. Miller said she started the "Memphis Women Who Kick [expletive]" series to create a platform to celebrate women and let the world know about them.

"We do a photo-shoot with every feature, and then I write about why I am inspired by the woman being featured," Miller said.

Through this series, however, another project was born. Miller said she met several women whose lives had been forever altered because of cancer. Miller decided to bring women in various stages of their battle together to give them the opportunity to share their stories.

"I just really wanted to do something for these women to make them feel special and remind them of how beautiful they are," Miller added. "It was a chance for them to forget about their diagnosis for a few hours and feel like a woman again."

Miller said several makeup artists and hair stylists donated their time for what she called "The Warrior Project," helping these women who are currently battling cancer or have conquered their disease tell their stories.

Miller met with five women to discuss the shoot, some of whom she knew personally and others she met via social media. She asked all of them to each bring someone else they thought would benefit from the experience.

All in all, she ended up with nine beautiful women for the shoot--her five original models, four friends who had also been diagnosed, and one mother who had been a huge support to her daughter.

To see some of the photos from the series, click here.

Kim decided to share the stories of three women whose stories stood out to her in particular. We've decided to omit their names out of respect for their medical privacy.

One woman battled stage four lung cancer that had spread to her brain. When a physician at MD Anderson said there was nothing more they could do, she refused to accept that answer. She found a Memphis oncologist who was willing to go to battle with her. After chemo and surgery, she was cancer free for three months. Six weeks ago, the cancer returned to her brain, but Miller said she is not going down without a fight.

Another woman was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2009. She had a double mastectomy and went through chemo before she was declared cancer free for several years. In 2014, her cancer returned, and she is still battling the disease. She founded the "Pink Wig Project" after her first diagnosis, a non-profit that brings pink wigs to women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Another woman was also diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, but has been cancer free for six years. She made it her mission to help other women in the same situation. She also spent time working at the West clinic as what Miller called a "one woman support team" for newly-diagnosed women. When asked how cancer had changed her, she said it made everything in life a little sweeter.

"All of these women inspire me with their strength and courage, but the thing that inspires me the most about all of them is their positive & kick --- attitudes in the face of extreme adversity and their desire to empower and help other women," Miller said.

Miller added that their warm personalities became apparent immediately on the day of the shoot. Though many of these women were strangers, Miller said they were acting like best friends within minutes.

Miller and her models had an incredible day, swapping stories and feeling empowered. Miller added that though this was the first installment in her Warrior series, it would definitely not be the last.

To learn more about the Warrior Project, click here.

To learn more the Memphis Women Who Kick --- project, click here.

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