This Model Lost Her Jaw To Cancer. Her After Photos Are Absolutely Stunning.
Missy aka Tizzy
On 7th December 2017
The effects of cancer will touch almost everybody's life one way or another. Billions of dollars are poured into researching cures and treatments. It is estimated that 50% of all of the people in the world will develop some sort of disease in their lifetime. Thankfully, with the advance of technology and medical breakthroughs, not all cancer diagnoses are death sentences like they used to be. Half of the people diagnosed with cancer will go into remission. Mortality rates depend on a number of factors, but when cancer is diagnosed during its early stages, it has better odds of being treated.
Osteosarcoma is one of the rarest forms of cancer also known as bone cancer. It is even rarer for someone to develop this kind of cancer in their jaw, but it is pretty easy to diagnose. It starts with painful swelling that does not go away. Elizaveta Bulokhova, a 24-year-old Canadian model, just knew something was wrong when the right side of her jaw started to swell and the pain became progressively worse. It started in May of 2014 and continued until she sought help in July of that same year.
Her pain was unbearable, and she knew that it was not a simple toothache. Biopsies and CT scans proved that she had a rare case of osteosarcoma, but that was not the only bad news she received. She was told that if she wanted to survive this cancer, she was going to have to have her jaw removed. She had been modeling for the past seven years and just knew this was going to end her illustrious career. As if that was not bad enough, she had more bad news coming her way.
She found out that she was also pregnant. The doctors told her that she would have no other option but to abort her baby even though she was already in her second trimester, but she would not have been able to go through chemotherapy while pregnant.
"He was very active, and I would talk to him often while he was in my womb," she recalled in an interview. "I had to tell him to stop moving because I couldn’t keep him and then all of a sudden he did. He listened; he stopped moving."
Come October 2014, 95% of her jaw was removed. The operation was 16 hours long, and once it was over, her jaw was then reconstructed using nerves, veins, fibula, and skin grafts from her right shoulder and leg. However, her whole ordeal was nowhere near over.
Reconstructing her jaw required several operations. Her doctors had to use bone from her leg as well as a titanium plate to make her new jawbone. Nerves and Tissue from her arm, leg, hip, and shoulder were used to give her a functioning mouth and lips.
All of the procedures, however, did not go smoothly. Because of that, it ended up being a blessing. It meant that her chemotherapy would be put off until ten weeks after she was due to give birth. Days before her scheduled abortion, she asked if it was ok for her to go ahead and have her baby. The doctors gave her the ok to go ahead and carry her baby to term.
Her boyfriend stayed by her side through her whole ordeal. Not only did she give birth to a healthy baby, but she was going to recover from her cancer. Two months after she finished her chemotherapy treatments, she was also back to modeling.
For this amazing photo shoot, she worked with a Toronto-based photographer, Manolo Ceron, who used her photographs to highlight her resilience and strength. The final results are amazing.
All of her scars are clearly visible. When talking about the photo shoot, Ceron says, "We wanted to use art as a tool to tell her story. Eli [Bulakhova] is the theme. She is the story and everything else is a tool to enhance that beauty and her strength."
"It shows how fragile we are and how beautiful we are. It’s hard to put one core message in it, but there’s a lot of hope and strength, and there are a lot of cancer survivors out there who might take something from this, and maybe that’s what the underlying message is."
Currently, it is not clear whether she will return to modeling full time. Right now she is focusing on her family who gave her the strength to beat her cancer. Whether she returns to modeling or not, her story will continue to show that physical imperfections are not a barrier to looking beautiful.