Face First
In our latest portrait series, we spotlight the many faces of the New Cancer Community.

Written and photographed by Sarah Bell

Cancer affects all of us. There is no one face of cancer, regardless of age, race or sexual orientation. In the latest edition of our cW portrait series, we captured cancer warriors from all walks of life and heard the same story repeatedly: they are stronger now because of what they’ve faced. 

In BELLA GREER’s breast cancer journey, she went from being the one everyone came to for help to asking friends and family for help herself. Since her diagnosis in February of 2019, Greer described the last few years as a time of rediscovery and re-identification.

In October 2016, on the one year anniversary of her late husband’s death, ERIKA LOJKO was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35. The length of her ponytail and the word “resilience” tattooed on her body remind her of what she has been through over the last five years.

After surviving throat cancer, JASON CHAN, 55, felt that he “mutated into a better human being, like Deadpool.” Chan is a martial arts instructor and restaurateur.

When TERESA ESPINOZA was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2019, she decided to be vocal about it amongst her family and friends. Espinoza, a Mexican-American, said in her culture it is considered taboo to speak openly about health issues like cancer.

DOMENICA LAGUNAS completed breast cancer treatment in July 2020, meaning she had to face her last few chemotherapy appointments alone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although survivorship has been emotionally difficult, Lagunas says her new life mantra is “amor por la vida” meaning “love for life.”

For LAURA ESTRADA, recovering from surgery and treatment was half the battle. When completing breast cancer treatment in August 2020, she wasn’t sure what to do next. She encourages other survivors and thrivers to “go to a support group, that’s the best thing you can do.”


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