Survivor Portrait Gallery

Denise Carelli

Survivor Portrait Gallery - Denise Carelli

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Denise Carelli with her mother.
© 2011 Mark Jason Photography

Ridgefield, NJ
Age 56
Breast cancer survivor since 2003

What does being a Survivor mean to you?
It means that I get to spend my days with my family and friends that I love so much. I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in both breasts in 2003 after going for a routine checkup. I was shocked by this diagnosis since I had no lumps or any other symptoms. I was told my best option was to have a double radical mastectomy and them chemo. So on April 18, 2003 the fight began, and I was determined to win that fight. And with the help of some wonderful doctors and the support of my family and friends I did win the fight. But if it were not for my mother who was with me through every surgery and every chemo treatment, I would not have had the strength and courage to fight this battle. Mom, you are the best, and I love you with all my heart.

How has being a Survivor affected your life?
I am so blessed that I have been given the opportunity to embrace life and make every moment of every day the best it can possible be. I have learned that I have strength to handle anything that comes my way and to give that strength to others that are dealing with breast cancer. I am stronger, I am more confident, I am a survivor. I love my life, and I want to always share that love with my family and friends.

How would you like to be photographed?
I would like to be photographed with the person who means the most to me and that is my wonderful mother. My mother and I both love jewelry, and we both love jewelry designer Judith Ripka. It would be a dream come true to be photographed at one of her stores on Madison Ave. My mom would just freak out at this.

Credits: Judith Ripka Boutique, 777 Madison Avenue.
Earrings by Judith Ripka, featured on Oprah's Favorite Things

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