Riverview resident Susie Morris is one of many women fighting cancer who have participated in The Affirmations Project which aims to give women confidence while raising money to help others in need.

Five years ago Adriana Pabon had an idea that is saving lives. Pabon, a breast cancer survivor, created The Affirmations Project which not only gives confidence to women battling disease but also raises money to help those in financial need.

The Project unites women who have cancer and survivors when they participate in an artistic photoshoot with a professional photographer where a word of affirmation is painted on them. The photographs are then displayed at an annual art exhibit fundraiser where the money raised goes directly to help a local woman with her medical expenses.

“My dream is to inspire women to look at themselves and see love,” said Pabon, who underwent a double mastectomy almost five years ago. “It is so important that as women we see that our value goes beyond how we look.”

Riverview resident Susie Morris participated in the Project after having her eye removed due to an ocular melanoma. She feels that the community developed from The Affirmations Project saved her life.

“I truly had no self-esteem after losing my eye,” said Morris. “I hated looking in the mirror every day, but doing the Project changed me in so many ways. It taught me that I am beautiful and gave me confidence I’ve never had before. It taught me to love myself for the first time in my entire life.”

Pabon also uses the Project to connect women fighting cancer through a website and private Facebook page.

“It is amazing what a feeling of community can do for someone going through something so life changing,” she said.
The women also come together at the annual gala when the photographs are unveiled on canvases to all all those in attendance.

“The event heals in so many ways,” said Pabon, who explains that after choosing their word of affirmation, all the women are artistically painted from the waste up for the photographs.

For more information about The Affirmation Project, visit www.theaffirmationsproject.com, call 618-7125 or find the group on Facebook.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.