A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing experience, but mentally strong individuals find ways to cope and inspire others around them. Marquina Iliev-Piselli was dealing with her first bout of cancer treatments when she made a bold decision to take her mind off the treatments: she had a photo shoot during her chemotherapy sessions. And not just any photo shoot — she went all out Glamor!
During her last five chemotherapy treatments, Iliev-Piselli got her friends together to help with wardrobe and capturing pictures. Her friends brought in glamorous outfits, and she received professional-quality makeup, thanks to her friend who worked as a makeup artist. Her friend who worked as a photographer snapped the pictures while Iliev-Piselli underwent her final chemotherapy treatments.
Iliev-Piselli was hesitant to smile or wear bold outfits or wigs, as she didn’t want to bother the nurses or make chemotherapy seem like it’s not a big, life-changing deal. However, as the project continued, her personality began to shine. She started smiling, posing and wearing lively, colorful getups. Looking at the pictures helped Iliev-Piselli improve her mood during rough times, and the pictures and photo shoot experience also began to lift the spirits of other chemotherapy patients, as well as the nurses and other staff members.
As of July 2016, Iliev-Piseli is finishing up her treatments, and she shows no signs of cancer. Her photos continue to circulate the internet, providing a source of inspiration and motivation for others who are battling cancer.