Eleven months ago, I found a lump in my right breast that ended up being triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive form. Through MRI, the doctors found a second estrogen based cancer in my left breast. Two different types of cancer in both breasts and I have no family history. I spent the last year having a triple lumpectomy, followed by five months of chemotherapy and 32 rounds of radiation. I lost all my hair, eyebrows and eye lashes. All my joints ache, my hands and feet are numb from nerve damage, I have Lymphedema in my breast and I feel like I’m 90 years old. I’ve been struggling to adjust to the new way I feel and the new way I look.
I met Jen Principe 6 years ago when she helped create some looks for me in my closet. I immediately saw her talent and her natural energetic way of being. I am a TV producer and in 2016, I booked her on a show with complete confidence she could do it and she knocked it out of the park.
So when she reached out to me this summer and said she wanted to give me a gift - a gift of a photo shoot post chemo and cancer treatment, I was touched. I still don’t know what I did to deserve this. I’ve had a career of creating makeovers for other people on The Oprah Winfrey show, but being on the other side of the camera had me a little perplexed. I wasn’t sure how to feel. I knew I didn’t feel good and didn’t feel like myself.
So yesterday was the shoot with Jen and her husband Tony, who took the photos. They are an incredible team. Jen pulled many fabulous outfits, hired a make up artist and had her very positive assistant Kayla, put me at ease.
When I arrived, I still felt stumped, not sure what to think about all this fuss being made over me and why? But as the afternoon went on I began to feel ...well... confident. And this is tough for me to say but I felt sexy and I felt strong and like I was rocking my new short salt and pepper hair. Jen’s photo shoot was the first time since getting cancer that I wore make up and dressed up and felt like I was a Phoenix rising from the ashes.
The power of the gift that Jen gave me...(just because she wanted to) has really put me in a better, healthier place. It’s as if she threw me a rope and pulled me out of a ditch or a hole.
Driving home last night, I felt like I was floating and I began thinking about how I’m going to purge my closet and start incorporating more color and happy clothes to go with the new me. The thing about getting cancer is it’s impossible (at least for me) to go back to being your old self. I’ve changed on the inside and the outside. And Jen with her very selfless and loving gift, helped me discover who my new self is and what she looks like. It’s like I was touched by earth angel. It’s like I was touched by earth angel.
- Lisa Morin
For Zoe There is an old saying that words just aren’t enough. When it comes to Jennifer and what she did for our family, there could not be a more true statement. That being said, I will try and put it into words. When your child is sick, every day is about them. The problem is, the reason every day is about them is a horrible reason. They are not feeling well, they have to get a test, they have to get a blood transfusion, etc. What Jennifer did for our family and specifically for our daughter Zoe was give her a day all about her just like in a fairy tale. So many people, too many to count, helped us during our journey but Jennifer was a true angel that came out of nowhere and gave us memories that will last forever. I look at the book she made for us at least two times a week and I have a smile on my face for the rest of the day. It might sound cliché but it truly was a magical day for both Zoe and our family. I could go on and on but I think you get the point. Any family that is lucky to have Jennifer make a special day for their child will truly understand what I am talking about and the impact it has on your daily lives. Thank you Jennifer for what you did for our family and just as important, what you continue to do for so many others. We love you!