Cancer is an ugly disease. Pain, nausea, weight and hair loss are some of the most common side effects of treatment. Seeing the beauty in the disease is hard but its what Photographer Sonjhai Meggette continued to do as she recently launched the 2014 Esoteric Images Calendar.
Meggette calendar creation began in 2010 after her former girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer. Watching her undergo chemo treatments and lose her hair, she wanted to do something to show her support and remind her of her beauty even if her head was bald.
“I started taking pictures of bald head women, creating positive images that reflect their inner beauty,” she said. Thusm, Esoteric Images Calendars began.
While creating that first calendar she learned that several of the other models were breast cancer survivors and was inspired to donate proceeds from her calendars in support of cancer treatment.
Each year, proceeds from her calendar sales benefit the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary clinic, a Bay Area nonprofit organization that offers awareness and free holistic treatment to low-income women with cancer.
Model Voress Franklin, featured in October’s month, has a niece that suffered from a rare form of breast cancer and her sister died of pancreatic cancer. She now has inoperable brain tumors and had to undergo Chemotherapy treatments to shrink them. She lost her and lost her relationship because of it.
“I am more than my hair”, she said. “I like the way I look, and if I want to put a wig on, I can do that too”.
Roz McMillian wasn’t featured in this year’s calendar but was honored at the event because of her breast cancer fight. Like so many, she also lost her hair but she continued to fight. .
“I didn’t know how to be in a place of honor going through such an intense process,” said McMillian. “I couldn’t connect being honored with the way I was feeling and what was happening to my body.”
But now she has a positive diagnosis and says it was her connection with Meggette that changed and transformed her.
“I started with questions and walked away with answers, to let go and to trust in myself,” she said.