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    These Underwater Photos Of Cancer Survivors Will Take Your Breath Away

    This is what letting go of cancer looks like.

    Online cancer community,, partnered with San-Francisco based underwater photographer, Erena Shimoda, to provide a once in a lifetime experience for cancer survivors - a free underwater photography session that would allow them to let go of cancer and start to heal.

    Underwater, they rediscovered their beauty, strength and capability - and showed the rest of the world what healing looks like.

    Mailet, Breast Cancer Survivor / Via

    "As I was immersed in a few feet of water, holding my breath with my eyes closed, I became entrenched in living in the moment -- the distractions which usually plague my mind were no longer present. I allowed myself to be consumed by the experience and focused on controlling what I could. I was forced to let go of what I couldn't control and to work within the constraints of my new environment."

    Learn more about Mailet's journey with cancer here:

    Emily, Brain Tumor Fighter / Via

    "For the time you are in the water it does not matter what you’ve been through or are going through – you are fully concentrating on your breathing and Erena’s lens. It is a way to see yourself in a different light and environment. It is a way to showcase how much you can accomplish. It is a beautiful escape."

    We are so heartbroken to share that our dear friend Emily passed away from complications due to her brain tumor on March 1st, 2014. It was an honor and privilege to be able to be with Emily during her underwater photography session. She was so comfortable, and at peace in the water. We will look to these photos to see the angel that she is. Rest In Peace Emily Morrison, you will be missed!

    Lindsey, Breast Cancer Survivor / Via

    “I was terrified to do the underwater session. I’m not exactly comfortable in my new body. I’m still adjusting to these “new additions” and being heavier than I’ve ever been due to lack of physical activity isn’t helping my cause. But I just let the water calm me, instead of overpower me with fear."

    Learn more about Lindsey's journey with cancer:

    Lori, Cervical Cancer Survivor / Via

    “As cancer survivors, it’s often difficult to return to a normal rhythm. Treatment robs us of body function and confidence. It leaves lasting reminders of our experience through physical and emotional scars. Yet, we are capable of healing in extraordinary ways.”

    Learn more about Lori's journey with cancer:

    Lisa, Breast Cancer Survivor / Via

    "I think that once you’ve been through something as awful as cancer you need to appreciate the here and now. Being in the water and trying to stay underwater really makes one mindful of staying in the present."

    Learn more about Lisa's journey with cancer:

    Brian, Testicular Cancer Survivor / Via

    "Being underwater always feels like an escape from reality, and that's all I wanted during cancer treatment. It made me feel free."

    Learn more about Brian's journey with cancer:

    Bernadette, Breast Cancer Survivor / Via

    "I relate my cancer experience to jumping out of my comfort zone and jumping into something unknown. I figured if I could take chemo (like a boss, I might add), I could pretty much do anything. So when I learned about the underwater healer campaign, I jumped at the opportunity to try something new like this – to again jump into the unknown, but this time, by my own will. "

    Learn more about Bernadette's journey with cancer:

    View More Survivors

    These are just a few of the stunning photos. Check out Erena Shimoda's portfolio to view more photos from this amazing campagin:

    Learn more about

    IHadCancer is an online support community for cancer survivors, fighters and supporters. Members can search by age, gender, location, year of diagnosis and cancer type to find others to connect with. Learn more here.