Cancer can be terrifying, especially to those of us who’ve never had it.  A loved one’s diagnosis can seem like a death sentence.  The future suddenly feels finite, and our formerly limitless possibilities now appear inconsequential in the cold, clinical light of science.

But the most amazing thing about cancer is the way some people not only overcome it, but convert their experience with cancer into a lens through which they can more clearly see — and more fully enjoy — the world they’ve now more fully come to appreciate.

Two of our clients have just such stories, and since cancer is a condition that extends beyond the constraints of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, we thought we’d share them with you now.

Elizabeth April-Fritz is the Product Manager for Bigelow Tea.  She’s also a three-time breast cancer survivor.  Her message is inspiring and self-evident:

“I can say with total certainty that this is a disease that I am living with NOT dying from.”

Likewise, Ouidad is another successful businesswoman.  Her eponymous New York salon just celebrated its 25th anniversary.  But along the way, Ouidad had to overcome more than just the fashion industry’s skepticism about a self-made “curl professional” — she had to overcome breast cancer.  And she did.  Now she and her husband Peter oversee Curls for a Cure, which works year-round to raise money for breast cancer research.

These remarkable women are only two of the millions who’ve refused to allow their cancer to define them, and who have emerged from their medical challenges with their energies renewed and their focuses sharpened.  We hope their stories serve as inspiration for you, no matter the hills or mountains in your path, and as a reminder that there is a life to be lived passionately on the other side.