Beautiful YOU 2014 | Laura Gordillo Photography| Phoenix Arizona Photographer

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What can I say about this lovely lady, other than she is truly UH-MAZING! I consider her a great friend who holds a special place in my heart. I have seen her endure so much, and through it all she always has a positive outlook! I admire her and her strength! Her sister is a good friend of mine. She is actually the one who hosts Beautiful YOU with me :)

When I first started my photography venture I found out about her sister suffering from cancer. I remember thinking about my sisters and how I would feel if something like this ever happened to them. I couldn’t find the words to comfort my friend. I remember texting her and telling her I’d like to gift her and her family a session. I remember Netis was not feeling very well during the shoot because had chemo that week. But the images turned out beautiful :) It was the most rewarding feeling to do that for them, and that is inspired Beautiful YOU! I heard about Singleton Moms because of these two wonderful sisters. Desiree had mentioned how amazing this organization was  and how much they had helped her sister.  I wanted nothing more but to give back in some way, since they do so much for single parents battling cancer.

Read more of Netis’s story below:

Beautiful YOU, Phoenix, AZ, Cancer, Warriors

Beautiful YOU, Phoenix, AZ, Cancer, Warriors

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Make up by Chik A’la Mode

Hair by TheBoys DoHair

Just 6 months after getting breast implants I was diagnosed with breast cancer. A few months before I got diagnosed I went to the doctors for my annual lady check, at this point it had just been 3 months since getting my implants. I had noticed a lump on my breast and it seemed to be getting bigger. I asked my Dr about it at my check up, but he said it was nothing. I explained that my dad’s sister had died from breast cancer. He said because it was my aunt from my dad’s side and not my mom’s I didn’t have anything to worry about. About 2 months later I ended up sick for a few weeks and just couldn’t kick my cold. I finally went to the Dr. they ran some blood tests and thought I might have lupus. When it turned out that’s not what it was they wanted to run some more tests. At this point I told the Dr. while you’re running more tests can you also look into this lump on my breast. She then sent me to get it biopsied and it showed I had breast cancer. The Dr. later told me that the moment she touched the lump she knew that what it was. I was devastated, I was only 29 and felt like someone had just sentenced me to death. I later called the Dr. who had done my annual check up and let him know. He then said that I couldn’t have breast cancer because I was too young. I was so angry. I know how old I am and apparently I’m not because I had it. I went on to have both my breast removed, followed by reconstruction. I think I had like 6-7 surgeries on my breasts including the first implants. I also did a year of chemo. After my treatment I was on remission for almost 3yrs. Just when everything was normal, my hair back to the length it was before I lost it and the cloud of cancer finally no longer hanging over my head…so I thought. January 2011 I went to the ER with severe chest pains. Drs thought it was my heart, and anybody who knows me knows my eating habits…fried, fried and fried some more, nothing healthy. Chemo meds can affect your heart as well. Then they said my heart was just fine. That’s when I became worried that it could be cancer again. After all my scans and test came back, the Dr told me that the cancer was back. Not only was the cancer back but it was in my bones and had spread to my sternum and spine. Devastated cannot even begin to describe how I felt. I got through it once how was I going to do it as again. Can I do it, can my kids and family go through it again? Well I am happy to say that 3 years later I still am here…we are still here fighting! Everyday is hard but one so worth fighting for. Mind over matter. I know it all may sound bad, but my cancer has not been all bad. Due to cancer I have a new outlook on life, I appreciate people, time and things a lot more and value every moment! It has also brought some amazing people into my life. I live everyday to the fullest because it’s a blessing. I will continue to fight with all I have for my 3 boys and with all the support from my family and friends.

Live, love and laugh

Netis

Beautiful YOU 2014 | Behind the Scenes |Laura Gordillo Photography | Phoenix Arizona Photographer

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We hosted our Beautiful YOU event once again this year, our second year in a row!! It was truly amazing! It warms my heart to know that so many people were so giving and were more than willing to help out which ever way they could to make this event a success! The ladies’ whose pictures were taken are a part of a non- profit organization called Singleton Moms, it is a GREAT organization that helps single parents suffering from cancer. I had the absolute pleasure of working with some fabulous make-up artists and hair stylists who were nice enough to donate their time to glam up these ladies. I, then took some beautiful glamour shots of each of them! I will be posting photos of the ladies that participated, and sharing their bios they have personally written, so you can get to know them as the strong, beautiful women that they truly are!

I cannot say it enough, how amazing and humbling this whole experience was! But we couldn’t have done this alone. It took a wonderful team of people and vendors who volunteered their time, and donated items to help make this event so successful! I’d like to thank the following people/businesses!

Special thanks to my friend Desiree, you are truly amazing! It is because of you that I learned about this wonderful organization. Thank you for all your time and dedication to make this day a memorable one for these deserving mothers!

I cannot thank my twin sister and her hubby enough for opening the doors to their home so we can host the event there. We were pretty stressed not being able to find a location and you were lifesavers to offer your home! We GREATLY appreciate it! :)

TheBoyz DoHair

Sugar N’ Spice Coffee & Tea

The Cookie Corner AZ 

Creations by Lore

Chik A’ La Mode

Adriana Garcia/ Makeup & Hair

Sun Valley Masonry for tables and chairs

Connie Benavidez for donation (Bath & Body Works)

Kim & Rick Colburn donated our delicious lunch

Monetary Donors: Melinda Barned, Ofelia Rojas

Juan & Lorena Figueroa for allowing us to host the event in their beautiful home

Beautiful YOU, Phoenix, Arizona, Cancer Warriors,

Beautiful YOU, Phoenix, Arizona, Cancer Warriors,

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Beautiful YOU 2014 | Laura Gordillo Photography| Phoenix Arizona Photographer

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Meet Colleen! This woman is beyond amazing! Single mother of 4 and she talked beautifully about her kids! She is a proud mother and I could tell by the little time I spent with her, her kiddos are her pride and joy!

I remember her mentioning during the shoot that she hated wearing wigs! Her father bought her a very expensive wig and she didn’t like wearing them because they are so uncomfortable and make you sweat. But she decided to wear one just to see how it looked :) We were able to take a few shots with just her bandana, that she wears most of the time :) Please scroll down to read Colleen’s story!

Make up by Adriana Garcia

Hair by TheBoyz DoHair

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Here is Colleen’s story:

When I first found out that I had Cancer I cried (like we all do). The first thing that popped into my head was “Oh NO what about my kids” I am a single Mom with 4 kids, I can’t have Cancer. The very second thing was “Oh God what have I passed onto my kids” I am defective with this cancer and now I have passed this horrible disease on to my 4 babies. So immediately asked was there a way to know if I had passed this onto my kids. There was a test to see if you carried the gene and thank God I did not have the gene. I then thought “Oh my gosh what is my boyfriend going to think of my breast getting all cut up”. WILL I EVER BE THE SAME!!!

I found out that I had Cancer on October 29, 2008 (my second daughter’s birthday). I went into survival mode and started reading EVERYTHING I could along with my then boyfriend and family. I was immediately rushed from place to place getting tons of test done to see if my body was strong enough to withstand the Chemo. After I was cleared that I was strong enough to have Chemo I had to go into surgery to have a Port put in. Nobody really ever talks about these but I was NOT happy that I had to have the “foreign thing” in my body! The Port is where they administer the Chemo.

So I started Chemo…………..I was told that I had to cut my hair (it was very long) because when it started falling out you did not want to have long pieces of hair all over, you will get mouth sores, you will be sick (tons of other things but I will save everyone from that). I know it sounds silly but this was all very shocking hearing ALL of the things that were going to be happening to you & you body.

I had Chemo for six months every other Monday, each session would last for 6-7 hours, then the next day I would have to go back and get a shot to boost my white blood count, to even get in the car to get this shot was so hard (I had to be driven because I could not drive). After I was done with the Chemo I then had to go and have my Breast removed and also the Lymph Nodes in my left armpit. I requested that they remove both of my breast. While I was having Chemo each week I would hear all these women in the waiting room talking about how they had only had 1 breast removed and now it is in the other side and I knew I did not want to go through this Chemo again. I elected to have reconstruction done at the same time. The surgery was about 8 hours and I was in the hospital about a week due to complications. So about a month’s time goes by and I have to start radiation. I had radiation 5 days a week for two and a half months. This was defiantly way easier than Chemo but you do get very tired and your skin takes a beating. Imagine getting the worst sunburn of your life and then going back out in the sun everyday for two and a half months.

After my Chemo and Radiation was done I was blessed enough to have my boyfriend (he was German) take me to Germany for a month to recovery.

After I was all healed the reconstruction process began (I am still doing it), this has taken a lot longer than I ever imagined, nobody tells you what the Radiation does to your body and how BAD it will affect the outcome of your reconstruction process. I have been through multiply breast surgeries, one of which put me in the hospital where I almost died due to my body going septic from the implant.

So I was just starting to get back into the grove of my life when my doctors office called and said “Colleen you have not had a Pet Scan in a year and a half we need to get you in for one”. I questioned why I would need a Pet Scan when I had both of my Breast & Lymph Nodes; I was told it was just routine. This was February 2011…………….My cell phone rings and I hear my doctors voice (I immediately know this is NOT good) he goes on to tell me that they found a spot on my spine that he is pretty sure is cancer and one on my liver that may be cancer. WHAT I think I can’t have cancer again………..YOU took my breast how the heck would I get cancer AGAIN!!!! I asked him just that and he went on to say that if just 1 cell is left behind that you will get cancer again. He said “Just calm down we need to get a biopsy of the spot on your spine & do another test on your liver” The thought of them doing a biopsy of my spine was NOT a pleasant thought to me, what if they slipped and I was paralyzed. Well I go into the hospital and have the biopsy done. I have to go see the doctor to find out the results, he tells me my liver is fine but I do have cancer again and it is in my spine. I was in shock!!!!!

I said, “You did not tell me what stage I was”.

He said “Well you are stage 4″

I said, “Does this mean I am going to die?”

And he said, “YES……YOU are going to die….you will not die this year (2011) and probably not the next year (2012) but you will defiantly die the following year (2013)”

I was speechless!!!!!!!

Again we all went into survival mode, he wanted me to have Radiation but if I opted for Radiation I would not be able to have surgery. I did NOT want this cancer in my body. So we did some research and found a GREAT doctor at Mayo that removed the tumor but I had to have one of my vertebras removed and a cage put in my back. This was a VERY LONG process. The operation took 10.5 hours and I was in ICU for a week then in the hospital for an additional two weeks then I was transported via ambulance to a rehabilitation hospital where I was there for two more weeks and I still left in a wheelchair. I had to learn how to walk all over again.

Then in a routine Pet Scan (September 2011) they found another spot on my spine. When I went in to get the results of the Pet Scan my doctor said “I do NOT want you to have the operation but to go into a Chemo study” when I asked him “How long I would have to have Chemo for?” he replied “For the rest of your life” I once again went under the knife and had it removed, this was not as bad as the first operation it was only an outpatient procedure. He is no longer my doctor.

I have Pet Scans every three months. So once again during a routine Pet Scan they find 3 tumors in my liver (February 2013) so I discussed my options with my new doctor and she gave me 3 different ways we could treat it. She did strongly recommend Cyber Knife (pin point radiation). So I went and had the Cyber Knife done and after three months I had a follow up MRI and there was no trace of the cancer.

Well during yet another routine Pet Scan (October 2013) the found several 10 to be exact tumors…… 1 in my Femur, 1 in my left Rib, 1 on my spine, 1 on my Iliac Joint & 6 in my liver. Well now I have to have Chemo again, so I have to go into the hospital and have a Port put back in. I had to have the Iliac Joint & Spine tumors treated by Cyber Knife due to the pain and restriction in my mobility. I have to say that Chemo has come a very long ways because this Chemo is not as hard as the first time.

On March 4, 2014 I just got the results of my Pet Scan and EVERYTHING looks GREAT, they did find a spot on my lung that she is going to have the Cyber Knife doctor take a look at and see if he wants to zap it otherwise my doctor says that I can have a break from the Chemo.

So when you tell people that you have had cancer 6 times……………….they say “WOW how do you do that” and my response EVERYTIME IS……………………”HOW DO YOU NOT???”

I have 4 AMAZING children that sill want, need, desire their Mother to be around!!! I WILL NEVER STOP FIGHTING!!

Remember Cancer is what you have….. It is a part of you…… it is NOT the whole YOU…… it does NOT define YOU………it does NOT make YOU……SO GO LIVE YOUR LIFE……..THANKS BE TO GOD!!!!

I would also like to Thank Singleton Mom’s and all the wonderful ladies I have met over the years!! With a big Thanks to Laura & Desiree for putting together the Beautiful YOU Event!!! Xxx ooo

Premier Phoenix Arizona Baby Photographer | Laura Gordillo Photography | Baby *M* 1 Year Milestone Session

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I cannot believe this little guy is 1!! I remember his newborn shoot as it it was yesterday! Mom came in with some adorable props! A froggy hat, grandpa’s Super Bowl ring, and a little couch which had his name stitched on it! After that, I had the pleasure of taking his milestone sessions every 3 months! It has been wonderful to watch him grow! He was an early walker! He was walking a little before his 9 month shoot! He’s such an incredible little guy, and I am so honored to be his photographer ♥

For session information please visit http://www.lgordillophoto.com/

1 yr, session, milestone, baby, photography, phoenix, az

1 yr, session, milestone, baby, photography, phoenix, az

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Premier Phoenix Arizona Maternity Photographer | Laura Gordillo Photography | *M* Maternity Session

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I had the pleasure of taking maternity pictures of this GORGEOUS mama of soon to be 3! Doesn’t she look amazing!! She was a bit hesitant of allowing me to show her bare belly pics but then warmed up to the idea! I am sooooo glad she did! I was dying to share these! I cannot wait to meet the new addition in a few weeks!
For session information please visit http://www.lgordillophoto.com/

 

maternity photography, session, phoenix, az

maternity photography, session, phoenix, az

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Premier Phoenix Arizona Maternity Photographer | Laura Gordillo Photography | *L* Maternity Session

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I had the pleasure of taking pictures of this beautiful couple this past weekend! Future mama had been on bed rest and we were uncertain if the session was going to be possible. Luckily, her doctor cleared her and we were able to capture some AMAZING images! I cannot wait to meet their little guy in a few weeks!!

For session information please visit http://www.lgordillophoto.com/

maternity photography, session, phoenix, az

maternity photography, session, phoenix, az

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Premier Phoenix Arizona Newborn Lifestyle Photographer | Laura Gordillo Photography | Baby *H* 9 Days New

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Most of you know, I offer two types of newborn sessions. It’s either a lifestyle session or a posed. Lifestyle are images taken with parents, siblings (if any) OR Posed which is baby by him/herself with props etc. Most of my sessions are Posed, but these parents chose a lifestyle session! Something different for me because I am used to posing the baby with cute hats and such, but I truly enjoyed taking these images! They turned out beautiful! :)

For session information please visit http://www.lgordillophoto.com/

lifestyle, newborn, photography, boy, family, phoenix, az, el paso, tx

lifestyle, newborn, photography, boy, family, phoenix, az, el paso, tx

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Premier Phoenix Arizona Newborn Photographer | Laura Gordillo Photography | Baby *O* 7 Days New

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I had the pleasure of hanging out with this little guy last weekend! I took his big brother’s newborn pictures almost 2 years ago! Crazy how times flies! He has gotten so big! LOVE how these turned out! ♥

For more information please visit http://www.lgordillophoto.com/

Newborn, photography, baby, phoenix, az, el paso, tx, boy

Newborn, photography, baby, phoenix, az, el paso, tx, boy

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Premier Phoenix Arizona Photographer | Laura Gordillo Photography | Best Friends

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I have had the pleasure of knowing these lovely ladies for quite some time now! We all taught at the same school. These three had a GREAt bond a friendship like no other! One of them moved to Cali and came out to AZ as a b day surprise :) LOVED hanging out with them for a bit last weekend!

For more information please visit http://www.lgordillophoto.com/

Phoenix, photographer

Phoenix, photographer

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Premier Phoenix Arizona Child Photographer | Laura Gordillo Photography | Baby *R* Turns 1

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I am sooooo sad all of my Grow With Me babies are turning 1! I cannot believe this little guy is already 1 :/ I won’t be seeing him every 3 months anymore! He’s grown up so fast! Isn’t he handsome!!! Going to miss seeing this little guy!!

For session information please visit  http://www.lgordillophoto.com/

child, baby, photography, 1 year, milestone, phoenix

child, baby, photography, 1 year, milestone, phoenix

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