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This woman deserves to be admired, shared and celebrated. For her joy, her courage and her bravery.

Kiki van de Laar from ‘Courage Through a Lens: A Breast Cancer Journey’

These are the words that end an inspirational book:

“Rather than living in fear of the unknown, I live in the knowledge that life is fantastic. “

 ( from ‘Courage Through a Lens: A Breast Cancer Journey’)

And these were the words that ended an inspirational life:

 “Do not be sad, but this morning, on Saturday, I passed on to a better place, without any pain, my body was broken but my spirit was still strong. It was time to let go and find peace, which I have.

I am truly grateful as I have experienced true happiness and fulfilled all my dreams. Live in the moment and enjoy life.”

(These words were posted on the Facebook page of Kiki van de Laar on Saturday.)

For many women battling breast cancer Kiki van de Laar was an inspiration.

But for her two children Tatum and Mick, she was simply Mum.

Kiki, her husband Rogier and their kids

The Adelaide mother-of-two was only twenty-seven when she found a small lump in her breast. Initailly she dismissed it.

“It’s probably nothing, I thought”, Van de Laar told Medzine.

A couple of weeks and a lot of testing, scans and biopsies later she found out it wasn’t nothing, it was something that would change the course of her life.

Being a photographer herself, Kiki van de Laar started searching for photos on what it was like to go through breast cancer treatment, but she couldn’t find anything that helped her.

She decided to do something positive with her diagnosis.

“As a professional photographer I can make the difference because I know how to catch a moment.” she said at the time.

From that moment on, Kiki took her camera with her everywhere she went.

She underwent a lumpectomy and was given the news she suffered an aggressive triple negative tumor and she needed a mastectomy.

She recorded the chemotherapy, the radiotherapy, the lot for five days a week, six weeks long – all on her camera.

She recorded the doctors appointments and the waiting room. A legacy of what it was really like to fight breast cancer.

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“For me it was really important to make all the photos myself. I wanted to show my readers the way I looked at my treatment, from my point of view.”

The confronting images included a shot of her bare, bandaged chest, taken just hours after a mastectomy in March.

She was applauded for her bravery, her rawness and her honesty.

The Dutch-born mother of Tatum, who’s aged one and Mick who is four, finished her treatment in September.

She completed her e-book, ‘Courage Through a Lens: A Breast Cancer Journey‘ the same day.

In October she posted a final tragic diagnosis on her Facebook page:

“I am sad to inform you all I suffer from cancer in the bones and brains, that I am dying was confirmed today.”

Her decision to put herself in front of the lens made national headlines with breakfast television, national newspapers, bloggers and medical professionals reaching out to her to praise her courageous journey.

Early Saturday morning Kiki van de Laar died.

She left the touching Facebook update for her husband, Rogier to post to let her loyal followers know her positive spirit shone through till the end.

She died six days before her daughter’s second birthday.

Her final Facebook post concluded with a quote attributed to Marcus Aurelius.

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

 

To buy Kiki’s book of which 50% of the profits are donated to breast cancer research go to her web site. www.kikiscourage.com