, August 29, 2014 | More Post by

Michele Yepez of Norfolk stumbled onto Beyond Boobs! after she went to another support group and left feeling more depressed than when she arrived. “I was reeling and upset after my breast cancer diagnosis and I felt so out of place at the first support group I attended,” Michele said. “I went to a BB! support group and the women there were so loving and full of life.”Headshot

Another calendar model encouraged Michele to submit a modeling application a couple months after she became a Boober! “I wanted a way to accept my diagnosis and move on with my life,” Michele explained. “I had to write a bio for the application and that was the first time I really put in writing how I felt. I started writing and the thoughts and feelings just kept on coming. It was such an emotional release for me and really helped me open up to myself.”

Michele had a lot of fun during the photo shoot but it was still a scary and taxing experience for her. “I was bald and not really comfortable without my wig,” she said. “I wanted to wear my usual bold makeup and look dressy but I started to doubt my choice because of my baldness. Now that my hair is starting to grow back I am more comfortable with the way I looked at the shoot.”

It was difficult for Michele not to be able to see the photos after becoming so emotionally invested in the project. She is eagerly awaiting the grand unveiling at the Gala in September. “Modeling in the calendar was definitely worth it,” she said. “The experience changed my outlook and gave all that I had been through new meaning.”

Michele has two children, Mathias and Elise. She works as a marketing manager for an insurance company.

 

Category: Blog

, August 22, 2014 | More Post by

Donna Matherne of Williamsburg, VA, has been a Boober! for a year-and-a-half. She and her husband Chris are parents to two boys, Nathan and Joseph, so it is difficult for her to attend other Beyond Boobs! fundraisers because of family commitments. That is why she is doing everything she can for the 2015 calendar in order to raise funds for the group.Donna M

“Beyond Boobs! has been so helpful for me,” Donna said. “I had good support from my family and friends but I didn’t have anyone who really knew what it was like to have breast cancer. Being a Boober! gives me the chance to connect with other survivors and vent my feelings. I can complain and give voice to my true emotions without worrying about being judged because I am with other ladies who have been through the same experiences.”

Donna, 40, was diagnosed with breast cancer the first time in 2009 after trying to convince doctors that something was wrong for more than a year. The doctors kept telling her that everything was OK but she knew it wasn’t. She trusted herself and kept pushing to finally get the correct diagnosis. After six months of chemotherapy as well as reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy she was diagnosed with cancer again in 2012. She finished her second round of chemo last June. She stresses that women should trust their gut instincts and wants to share that message through her part in the calendar.

Donna believes that laughter is the best medicine and she received a hearty dose during her photo shoot. “There were lots of different movements for the poses and it was so comical,” she said. “Everyone at my shoot laughed the entire time. I had so much fun.”

 

Category: Blog

, August 15, 2014 | More Post by

Lucy McKay of Burke, VA, was first introduced to Beyond Boobs! when she attended the 2013 Dancing with the Stars event put on by BB!  She received a copy of A Calendar to Live By 2014, and when she saw it she knew that she wanted to be a part of it.photo

“I was in the middle of treatment when the photos were taken and I wanted to show people that a woman can be beautiful without hair,” she said. “In the midst of sickness, I was able to still have fun and keep a big smile on my face.”

Lucy has been through so much in the past four years. She was diagnosed with breast cancer the first time in September of 2010. She had numerous surgeries and a double mastectomy as well as chemotherapy. She was diagnosed with breast cancer again in September of 2013, underwent 6 months of chemotherapy and had surgery at the end of July. In September she will undergo radiation treatment.

She said the best part of modeling for the calendar was the camaraderie amongst all the women. She was also impressed by the diversity of the models. “Women can open up the calendar and see themselves in the photos,” she said. “I love that the calendar models were chosen based on their diagnoses and other factors and not their appearances.”

Lucy, 46, is the Director of Finance for Hofheimer Family Law Firm in Virginia Beach. They specialize in divorce and custody cases for women only and are the largest firm in the nation to handle such cases. She and her husband Jon have two children, Myles, 8, and Liam, 5.

, August 08, 2014 | More Post by

Tiffany Riddick of Powells Point, North Carolina, works as a nurse and is trained in how to take care of others. She wants to extend that care to breast cancer survivors by sharing her story through the 2015 Beyond Boobs! calendar.photo

Fellow Boobers! encouraged Tiffany, 43, to submit a modeling application but she wasn’t sure. One night she couldn’t sleep and when she checked her e-mail she saw a message from Beyond Boobs! requesting applications for models. She applied that night and could not believe it when she was chosen.

Tiffany feels the calendar represents strength, courage, and the determination to survive breast cancer and to also survive whatever life brings our way. Her son, Ethan, passed away in 2007. She knew that if she could get through the pain of losing him that she could win her battle with cancer, too.

“I am very humble,” Tiffany said. “Being in front of the camera was a big deal to me and a life-changing experience. I was so nervous about doing well at the photo shoot that I only remember one of the poses that I did.”

The attack of nerves was worth it for Tiffany, though. “It was a great honor to be chosen as a calendar model,” she said. “If sharing my life story and my strength can help others and make it easier for them then it was all worth it.”

Category: Blog

, August 01, 2014 | More Post by

Stephanie Schneider of White Stone, Virginia, knew she had a family history of breast cancer, but the 32-year-old never thought she would be diagnosed at such a young age. “My grandmother was diagnosed when she was 70,” Stephanie said. “I thought I had forever before I would have to worry about breast cancer.”DSC_1842

Stephanie had just received her diagnosis when she learned about Beyond Boobs! and saw their calendar for the first time. She showed the calendar to her daughters, Adele and Madison, and they encouraged her to become a model.

Stephanie and her husband Dave traveled an hour-and-a-half to the photo shoot and used that time as a mini couples retreat. That seems only fitting since Dave was the one who discovered the lump in her breast back in August of 2013.

“I am definitely the wallflower type, so it was a huge step for me to put myself in front of the camera,” Stephanie confided. “The photo shoot was so cool and I am looking forward to the unveiling at the Gala in September. I just hope that my photo portrays the theme that we were going for.

“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I thought my life was over,” Stephanie said. “I want to show women that there is life after cancer and that they don’t have to fight the battle alone.”