11 years cancer free! Michelle is Surviving & Thriving | Columbia, SC

After my step-mother Marilyn Sizemore-Jones lost her 25-year battle with breast cancer in July I wanted to find a way to give back and make her proud. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month I felt this is the time to do it. I reached out to Michelle Tindal of Columbia, SC. I have known for a while and asked her if she would like to share her story in exchange for a portrait session. She immediately agreed and stated she would love to share her story. We choose to have the portrait session on the campus of the University of South Carolina at the Horseshoe. We discussed her experience with dealing with breast cancer, her treatments and how she is thriving after cancer.

michelle-3.jpg

2007

The year 2007 was a year of many events that still have an impact on how things are today. Some good events that came from that year was Steve Jobs announcing that Apple was going to release the iPhone and Barack Obama announced he was running for President of the United States of America. Some of the bad that came that year was the Mortgage Crisis which caused thousands of foreclosures and who could forget that a college student went on a killing spree at Virginia Tech University which lead to the death of 33 innocent people.

For Michelle, the year 2007 also had good and bad events or her. While performing a self-breast examination she noticed a lump on her breast. After a mammogram and biopsy, it was determined she had Stage 1 Breast Cancer. It was good that she was conducting her self-exams and caught the lump at an early stage. The American Cancer Society states that finding breast cancer early and getting state-of-the-art cancer treatment are the most important strategies to prevent deaths from breast cancer. Breast cancer that’s found early, when it’s small and has not spread, is easier to treat successfully.

When she received the news of the cancerous lump she was devastated and shocked. Without any prior family history of breast cancer, she couldn’t understand how this happened to her. Thankfully, she has a strong support group by her side which consist of her family and friends. They were with her through every step of the way.

TREATMENT 

Michelle had a mastectomy and underwent chemotherapy treatments for 4 months. She went for treatment every 2 weeks and had followup appointments in between her treatments. “The side effects and days after is one of the worst feelings ever. It’s tough and my heart goes out to those with long treatment plans,” she said.

Her self-esteem took a huge hit since she felt horrible and believed that she was ugly. “I didn't feel like my normal self and it took me a long time to be ok with myself and get back to loving me. It took me several years to become comfortable sharing my story. I'm glad that I gained confidence and can now share with others. I've realized that this journey not only helped me grow emotionally and spiritually but is helping me encourage others.”

HEALING, FAITH & THRIVING

“My faith got me through it all. I knew that I was going to be ok. I had my tough days, but I had family and friends that kept me encouraged. When my faith was struggling, they filled in the gap for me. My grandmother would send me cards in the mail that included scriptures for me to recite. They were always right on time. Now, my faith still keeps me going and I know that because of my faith I am capable of anything. I'm not just a survivor, I'm a conqueror. I'm victorious.”

In 2010, she met and starting dating Eric. It wasn’t easy for her to date knowing what she has been through 3 years prior. “When I tell you that was the most difficult thing I had to tell my husband! I told him while we were dating and I was so scared. I feared being judged. I wanted to be totally transparent with him about my health because there's always that risk of cancer returning. I wanted him to know that I also still dealing with the after effects of chemo and how the effects could impact our future. Plus I knew he would eventually see my surgery scars and I knew he'd have questions.” Michelle and Eric have been married since 2011.

michelle-7.jpg

“You're stronger than you think! If you're determined to make it, then you will!”

WHAT'S NEXT FOR MICHELLE?

Michelle continues to be dedicated to her health and well being by exercising faithfully. She also keeps her faith in God which is fed at The Brook in Columbia where she is a faithful servant. Attending her annual oncology visits to receive blood work and scans will ensure her well being. Michelle is cancer free and encourages women to conduct regular breast cancer exams. Early detection is a major key to beating cancer. Michelle also recommends supporting small local groups like Alala Cancer Society. Alala provides post-surgery resources such as mastectomy bras, breast prosthetics and other items that women may need during their treatment.

“We tend to take things for granted until we're faced with the risk of it being taken away. We only get one body and I want to make sure that I'm around for a long time. I don't have kids yet, but when I do have kids I want to be here for them and future generations. I want a long AND healthy life!”

I would like to thank Michelle for her courage and sharing her story with me. After living with a parent with breast cancer I saw first hand how it can be challenging. It can make you question your faith in God and make you feel isolated from everyone. I do know that keeping your faith in God and having a support group will help you get through it all.

Please like the blog post, comment and share it on your social media pages with your friends. If you want me to capture your story please email me at henry@henryjonesphotography.com so we can discuss documenting your life story.

Sherry’s Brunch Bridal Shower | Columbia, SC

I am so excited to be sharing Sherry’s Brunch Bridal Shower with you today. The shower was held at Pine Grove Community Center in Columbia, SC in the middle of August. Her sister Lakisha was the event planner and caterer for the event. I have known Lakisha for over 10 years. She was my wedding coordinator for my wedding when I got married in 2009.

The bridal shower decor was covered in white, black and pink. Each chair was covered with white seat covers and a pink sash that added a pop to the back of the chair. The tables were decorated gold chargers and flowers.

Sherry and her special guests enjoyed the wonderful brunch catered by her sister. After brunch was served they then played bridal shower games, opened gifts, provided marriage advice and took individual photos with Sherry. This bridal shower was filled with laughs, tears and a bunch of love for the soon to be wife.

One highlight of the shower was when each guest introduced themselves which turned into a running joke of being Sherry’s ‘only’ (sister, aunt, first cousin, etc). Almost every guest found a way to add to being Sherry’s only.

Sherry is getting married to her fiancé Kenston on October 13th. I know she will be a beautiful bride and wonderful with to Kenston.

SHERRY’S BRIDAL BRUNCH MENU

Hash Brown Casserole

Corned Beef Hash, Bacon, Sausage

Scrambled Eggs

Shrimp & Grits with gravy

Fruit & danishes

VENDORS

Planner/Host: Timely Expressions, LLC

Decor: Princess Kut Engagement, LLC

Cupcakes: Lita’s Treats

Food: Lakisha Prioleau Dantzler

Invitations: LMH Printing

Sherry’s Mini Session

At the end of the shower I incorporated a mini portrait session with Sherry. During the session we received a bit of excitement as a neighboring bull dog decided to jump a fence and head towards us. Luckily I was able to run the dog off so we could continue the session. 

Did you enjoy the content I shared with you? Feel free like the blog post, comment and share it on your social media. If you want me to capture your next event please email me at henry@henryjonesphotography.com so we can discuss what I can do for you.

8 Sigma Beta Club Members Honored | Columbia, SC

The Nu Omicron Sigma Chapter held a Bleutillion Recognition Program for the Beta Sigma Club members which was held on Saturday, August 25, 2018. The recognition program was held at the Brookland Baptist Church Banquet and Conference Center. The program was held with an audience of family, friends, and brothers of Phi Beta Sigma.  Brother Richard Boone, State Director for South Carolina Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was the speaker for the event.

History of the Sigma Beta Club

The Sigma Beta Club is a youth affiliated group for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. The Sigma Beta Club was founded in 1950 by Dr. Parlette L. Moore.  Brother Moore was concerned about the changing needs in the black communities and recognized the important role that Sigma men could play in the lives of our youth. Sigma Beta Club is a mentoring program sponsored by the men of a local fraternity chapter. The Nu Omicron Sigma Chapter established the Sigma Beta Club on February 19, 2011.

The Sigma Beta Clubs’ four major principles of focus are on Culture, Athletics, Social and Educational needs. The Sigma Beta Club offers a unique opportunity to develop values, leadership skills and social/cultural awareness in our youth during their developmental years. Sigma Beta Club programs are geared to meet the needs of its members, but at the same time provide them with a well-rounded outlook that is needed to cope with today's society. Phi Beta Sigma is confident that investing in our youth today will produce the effective leaders of tomorrow.

Headshots

In July I received a call from my fraternity Brother Marion Wright. He inquired about having headshot’s taken for a few Sigma Beta Club member for an upcoming event. I was excited to have the opportunity to take these portraits. He let me know that was having a meeting with these young men at the Richland County Public Library on North Main Street so we decided to have them taken there. The meeting was to discuss the upcoming Bluetillion. What is a Bluetillion you might ask? A Bluetillion is a Sigma Beta gala presenting young men to the community. While taking their portraits I was able to have a brief conversation with each club member individually. I was impressed by the maturity these young men displayed.

In Conclusion

I would recommend having your young men to become a member of the Sigma Beta Club. With all the issues that young men have in America today it would be beneficial for them have mentorship. Having a mentor that looks like you helps them know they can do anything in life. Mentorship helps young men stay on track with education, and help with their future plans. Young men with mentors have a higher graduation rate, improves their interpersonal skills, and decreased the likelihood of initiating drug and alcohol use. Get your young men involved and see the benefits in him.

Brother Marion Wright helping Marcellus Charles Lewis with his bowtie.

Brother Marion Wright helping Marcellus Charles Lewis with his bowtie.

 

Sigma Beta Club Members

Sigma-Beta-Headshot-8.jpg

Isaiah Bowman

Sigma-Beta-Headshot-6.jpg

Carson Alexander Spencer

Dreher High School - 12th Grade

Sigma-Beta-Headshot-2.jpg

Zamahray Kelley

Sigma-Beta-Headshot-7.jpg

Jo'Nathan D. Turkvan

Sigma-Beta-Headshot-1.jpg

Sean Wise

Sigma-Beta-Headshot-5.jpg

Marcellus Charles Lewis

Irmo High School - 9th Grade

Malachi Everette Lewis

Irmo High School - 10th Grade

Sigma-Beta-Headshot-3.jpg

Tyre David Brown

Did you enjoy the content I shared with you? Feel free like the blog post, comment and share it on your social media. If you want me to capture your next event please email me at henry@henryjonesphotography.com so we can discuss what I can do for you.

Chiante | Branding Session | Columbia, SC

Chiante reached out to me last weekend after finding out I was a photographer. She stated she wanted some branding portraits for the website of her business. Chiante is a personal financial coach for individuals and couples in Charlotte, NC. I have known Chiante for several years through her mother so when she reached out to me I was ecstatic. She explained her vision for the session to me and I provided additional ideas to enhance the experience. There are several great photographers in Charlotte but she put her trust in me and traveled to Columbia for her session.

Read More