Kimi Maxwell of Perth, Australia, was preparing to become a mother for the second time in 2013. The experience of pregnancy, which can be one of the most magical in life, turned into a frightening ordeal when she received some terrible news.
Kimi got a diagnosis of breast cancer. Under other circumstances it would have been quite treatable, but since she was pregnant the doctors explained that she was going to have to choose: between her and her baby. Kimi, however, decided to do something incredible. She chose option three. She refused the life-saving cure, stunning her doctors. Instead, she was going to find a way to fight for her life, while protecting her baby as well.
The solution turned out to be a double mastectomy, which she underwent while pregnant. It can be very dangerous to have surgery with a developing fetus, but fortunately, everything went well.
To encourage other women not to give up, she even posed for these amazing black-and-white photographs — revealing the painful mutilation of the surgery, together with the beauty of her pregnancy. She really made it look effortless too: what impressive courage!
After giving birth she repeated the photo shoot with her baby in her arms, for a project about cancer survivors.
These photographs went viral and have been used with great impact for the fight against cancer. Their message is really new and powerful: yes, you can survive cancer even while pregnant! Her decision was risky, since it was possible that she, and thus also her baby, wouldn’t make it. But the message of love and survival was stronger, and now she can deliver it to the whole world!