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My most Fierce & Spirited friend has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Joanna is only 33 years old. She is beautiful, wickedly witty, and full of life. She lives and loves to her fullest potential. When on the phone with Jo discussing her condition she remained positive and in good spirits. I mirrored this back with her, trying to stay positive that she’ll kick cancer’s ass. Because well, knowing Joanna she doesn’t ever do anything half hearted, she is a full throttle, give it your everything type of woman. Once we hung up the phone, I sat there in shock. I was inescapably reminded of going through this with my ex-boyfriends father a few years ago, who had passed from pancreatic cancer. I kept thinking, why her? She’s only 33! This can’t be possible. She still has so much to experience in life and so many more lives to fill with laughter and happiness. I couldn’t help but feel choked up about this because I guess first you have to feel something in order to then get up and start doing something about it. 

To increase awareness of situations like this, and in hopes to support my fabulous friend, HERE is her story as written by another friend Lindsey. We’re all remaining positive & praying that she’ll fight this. Check out her story & please help donate to her family! She needs all the love & support we can give her.

Included below are a couple of my all time favorite images of Joanna when I photographed her just last year. She expressed how nervous she was to be in front of the camera, so we drank champagne, laughed, and played around. In no time her fierce and fabulous side was on display for me and my camera! This was the most fun I’ve ever had on a shoot!!! This experience is one of my favorite memories in my life and of Joanna. The wardrobe styling by Sarah Toshiko

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