These photos of a woman who battled breast cancer through her pregnancy are raw, amazing and proof that women are capable of anything.
Kimi Maxwell was pregnant for the second time when she received a devastating diagnosis: She had cancer. But she wasn’t about to let that define her experience: Maxwell fought hard throughout her pregnancy. Many cancer patients are faced with an impossible choice: They’re asked to choose between saving their unborn children’s lives or their own. Maxwell continued with her pregnancy, but she had a double mastectomy while carrying her child. She gave birth. And she won.
Maxwell posed for photos to celebrate her journey, and they’re so powerful that even now, nearly three years after they were taken, the Internet is captivated by them. Maxwell enlisted photographer Nikki Holmes to shoot the raw, gorgeous shots.
The photos show Maxwell’s scars, and the survivor has the words “I survived” painted on her chest. There’s an arrow pointed to her belly with the words “So did I” painted below them. Later, she posed for a set of shots after giving birth to her daughter, Poppy.
“She faced her battle head on and I never heard her [whine] and she just showed so much strength which showed through in the photos,” the photographer told Daily Mail. “Kimi’s goal was to raise awareness and she certainly succeeded in that with the photos being shared around the world. I was really proud of her and honored to play a part in that.”
Maxwell isn’t the only woman who has managed to crush cancer while pregnant: We’ve previously shared this woman, who also fought cancer during pregnancy. Yet another mom bravely breastfed her child while facing down cancer.
These stories can give hope to women who face the unthinkable during such a joyful time of their life.