Estelle Lagarde, #GetFit France Ambassador
In March 2008, Estelle’s boyfriend felt a small, meaningless lump in her breast. She went to the doctor to find out what it was. After undergoing a mammogram and an ultrasound, she was told to wait six months because they didn’t see anything. Three months afterwards, Estelle was shocked to find that the lump had grown. She went for another exam, after which they detected breast cancer. She was only 34 at the time, and rather scared.
Estelle is a professional photographer, and decided to use her experience as an inspiration, making a project based on her journey to share with the world. She photographed herself throughout the treatment, through her operation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Her beautiful, poignant and raw images portray the changes she experienced and how her identity was transformed due to disease.
“I have done this work because I wanted there to be less and less taboos around breast cancer,” she said. “I also wanted to bring awareness to women who think they are not at risk of this disease,” Estelle added, explaining that cancer affects everyone around the patient as well.
She knew that cancer treatments can change physical appearances. For people that haven’t gone through it, breast cancer treatment might seem like something temporary and uncomfortable, but bearable. Estelle tries to convey a real life experience with her work, showing the most desperate moments during her treatment and also the most hopeful ones, so that other people could get a real insight into the way disease affects cancer sufferers.
Estelle points out how treatment has advances in such little time. “If I am here today, it’s because I am lucky to live in these times. If I had been born during my grandmother’s time I probably wouldn’t be here.”
This year, Estelle is an ambassador for #GetFit and is also participating in the Pink Path Experience for breast cancer survivors. She believes that it is important to raise awareness about the disease, expel all preconceptions and encourage women to get screened regularly.
Meet Estelle and listen to her story and inspiration in this video: