Courage Through a Lens by Kiki Van de Laar

October 22nd, 2013

Kiki* and her husband Roger emigrated from Amsterdam to Adelaide, South Australia when she was five months pregnant. The couple, who now proudly call themselves Australians, quickly settled into their first home, just minutes from the beach, in the world-renowned wine region. When she found a lump in her breast, Kiki dismissed the idea of it being anything that would be harmful.

“Subconsciously, it might have been self-protection or outright denial, but accepting the possibility of it being cancer would somehow make it more likely to be exactly that. Almost like a self-profiling prophecy. Nevertheless, I did go to my GP to have it checked out,” she recalls.

Kiki-van-de-Laar_Courage-Through-a-LensKiki’s GP referred her for a mammogram. A core biopsy (where they took some tissue from the lump for analysis) was performed which confirmed her fears – she had breast cancer.

“..It was like a bad dream that I could not seem to wake up from. You feel like someone has just pulled the world from under your feet and a myriad of emotions take over. I could not believe this was happening to me and my family,” she said.

Kiki first got the idea to create ‘Courage Through a Lens’ when she was searching for photos on what it was like to go through breast cancer treatment.

Apart from the photos of mastectomies ad reconstructions, she could find very little so she decided to turn the camera on herself so that other could visualise a patient’s journey.

During her treatment, Kiki took the camera with her to every scan, appointment, test, hospital visit, surgery chemo and radio treatment which has resulted in an e-book of powerful and telling images.

Through ‘Courage Through a Lens’ Kiki hopes to show the unseen courage of the millions of others who suffer the disease and help raise money for breast cancer research.

I hope to help others who are diagnosed to overcome fear, to accept to live with uncertainty, to encourage them to keep fighting, smiling and celebrate life,” Kiki said.

‘Courage Through a Lens’ photo ebook is $19.99 and can be purchased at 50% of proceeds will be donated to breast cancer research.

*Kiki passed away on 23 November 2013. With her new, hardcover book as her legacy she continues to inspire others and raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.