In a meeting prior to her wedding, last October, I asked Kiara if there were any unique shots that she wanted. Her immediate reply was to stand up and show me the tattoo on her right side. The image below shows the tattoo which represents the chemical formula that is helping her in her fight against cancer. First diagnosed in 2010, Kiara, presently, has stage iv breast cancer that, at times, has traveled to her brain and other parts of her body. However, she’s determined to move forward with her life. A PhD student at Boston College, she’s in her final year of the program….or “Grade 24”, as she puts it. Also, she loves horse-back riding and rock climbing. Using her blog (Google ‘Words From Ward Four’) to update family and friends on her condition, experiences and thoughts related to her illness, she writes very openly and eloquently. While photographing the wedding day, I was truly inspired by her effervescent personality and zest for life. It was a pleasure to be a part of her and her husband Kai’s special day. I wish them many more celebrations.
Update: Sadly, in July of 2016, Kiara lost her battle with cancer….about a year and a half after her wedding. In order to help prevent the extinction of Kiara’s family name of Kharpertian, her husband, Kai, had offered to assume the name on their wedding day.