Grace Project captures breast cancer survivors and scars

Portraits show women with mastectomy scars
Posted at 1:34 PM, Sep 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-24 20:52:18-04

DENVER – The annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure brought a sea of pink to Denver’s Auraria Campus on Sunday.

In the crowd were thousands of breast cancer survivors and supporters.

Inside the Survivor Village, there was a special showcasing of survivor portraits that showed women and their mastectomy scars.

“I see courage, I see beauty and I see grace,” Charise Isis said. She is the photographer for the Grace Project.

Isis referred to the hundreds of women she’s photographed, bearing mastectomy scars.

“My goal is to photograph 800 women,” she said, to symbolize the 800 American women who are diagnosed with breast cancer every day.

Isis said her inspiration came from sculptures like the Venus de Milo. One that had become broken overtime, survived trauma, and is still regarded as beautiful.

On Sunday, Karen Hodge was on the other side of the camera lens.

“It was 2008 when I was diagnosed,” Hodge said.

Before that, Hodge battled Leukemia when she was 14-years-old.

“The same month that I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was also diagnosed with a tumor on my pancreas,” she said.

While she laughed, Karen added, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”

On Sunday, that laughter replaced initial worry and concern.

“I didn't feel like a woman,” Hodge said. She was describing her thoughts after undergoing a double mastectomy.

“You just get to the point where you just have to accept it,” she said.

Sunday morning, her portrait was unveiled. This served as a true testament of Hodge’s acceptance. She reflected and said simply, “It is powerful.”