Pictures of Promise: An Interview with Photographer Susan Lloyd

Thousands run for Susan G. Komen Lowcountry Affiliate's 2012 Race for the Cure

Today, the team at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction is honored to share with you an In Her Words interview with professional photographer Susan Lloyd. Susan works closely with Susan G. Komen Lowcountry as their events photographer.

 Read below for our interview with Susan.

1. Tell us your story. How were you introduced to the breast cancer community?  

I’ve had an interest in photography for most of my life, but never took it seriously until about twelve years ago.  I shot professionally for a time, took another job for a few years, then came back to photography.  I just couldn’t put the camera down!  I started shooting professionally again just a few years ago and have an entirely new appreciation for the craft of photography.  In all honesty, I can’t think of another thing I would want to pursue, career wise.  Oddly enough, though, I studied music education in college, and the first time I came face to face with breast cancer was during that time, over twenty years ago.   A hall mate who became a very close friend of mine our freshman year started college the same year her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  For our whole college career her mom battled the disease, and it had a huge impact on my friend.  Just a few years after graduation, her mother passed.  I remember thinking of all the things she was going to miss- her daughter’s wedding, grandchildren, retirement- and how it seemed she was robbed of so much by something that seemed so senseless.  In recent years, I’ve had several friends and one family member diagnosed with breast cancer.

Family Circle Tennis Center at dawn- Race for the Cure 2012

These women are all still living, and living proof that breast cancer awareness, advances in early detection, and more sophisticated treatments ARE making a difference.   But it wasn’t until this past year when I got involved with Susan G. Komen Lowcountry that I really became aware of how far reaching the breast cancer community is.  Patients, family members, concerned citizens- so many people who have been impacted by breast cancer, have come together in support of each other and to continue to move forward towards a cure for all women who are diagnosed.

2. It must be eye-opening and humbling to be a photographer for Komen. How did this happen for you?  
My work was seen online by Jordan Freeman, an employee of Trio Solutions the marketing group that works with Komen Lowcountry.  Jordan had an interest in a band I had done some work for and followed the link on their photos back to my Facebook page.  From there she became a fan of my page, continued to see the work I posted, and when the time came for Komen Lowcountry to find a new photographer to cover their events, Jordan reached out to me.  I was hugely honored and really didn’t hesitate to contribute my time.  One of the goals I had when I started to shoot professionally was to make sure that I was using my skills to help build up my community.  Working with Komen gave me the perfect opportunity to do that.
Susan Lloyd Photography specializes in portraits for women and teen girls- this is one example of a Sono Bella Portrait.
3. Why is the opportunity to photograph for Komen so important to you? Do you have any photography stories to share?   
First of all, I truly believe that to try an exist outside of community is a recipe for disaster- if you live only for yourself and invest only in yourself, you’ve missed a big part of what it means to be alive.  So for me personally, being  involved in something that is bigger than myself, that’s hugely important.  Specifically, photographing for Komen means that people can see there is hope, there are people working very hard every day to make a difference, and there are women who can say ” I made it through”.  There are so many facets of the work Komen does, it would be impossible to capture it all in photos or words.  However, people need to see- they need to know- that getting involved with Komen does make a difference.  Things are changing.  More women are being diagnosed, receiving treatment, and surviving because people are getting involved.
Photographs many times will impact us in ways that words can’t, and I’m happy that I can produce something that might possibly move someone towards action.
 The most exciting thing that I got to witness last year was the start of the Race for the Cure from about two stories off the ground!  Seeing thousands and thousands of people with smiles on their faces, optimistic and solidified in their support of Komen, it was overwhelming and truly amazing.
4. What is the one thing you want all women to know about breast cancer? 
I think the most important thing to know, outside of early detection, is that a diagnosis does not have to bring isolation with it. In fact, because of the work that Komen is doing, a diagnosis can bring you into a new community.  You will not be alone.  There are health care professionals, volunteers, survivors, a whole host of people who will walk with you and support you.   And there is so much compassion in that community- true compassion that says “We are here.  You can fight this fight.   We will fight it with you.”

5. What’s next for you in the world of Komen and photography? Upcoming events? 
I recently photographed the Grants Awards Reception which is such an awesome thing to witness.  The fundraising efforts of Komen Lowcountry throughout the year translate into financial blessing for facilities and organizations that work tirelessly to reach so many underserved women in our area.  When the grant checks are awarded, a recipient representative speaks about what it means to receive that kind of financial support.  That’s when you really understand that Komen is reaching deep into the lives of women throughout the lowcountry, many of them who are uninsured and underserved.

How One Woman Took Action Against Breast Cancer

Sue Young (right) pictured with Patricia Simon.

Today, the team at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction is honored to share with you an In Her Words post written by a dear friend, breast cancer survivor and active advocate, and the latest recipient of the Charlene Daughtry Award from Komen Lowcountry, Sue Young. She is an inspiration to all women who are facing breast cancer and proves there is strength in numbers and together we can get through anything.

 Read below for our interview with Sue.

1. You are a great advocate and an active volunteer for Susan G. Komen for the Cure  Lowcountry. Tell us what you’ve been doing to support women who are experiencing breast cancer or know of someone who is?

I’m a huge advocate of finding out everything you can about your options once you are told you have cancer.  Most people, me included, don’t really think about it until it happens to you or someone you care about.  I started volunteering with Komen after being diagnosed and reading Nancy Brinker’s book, “Winning the Race – Taking Charge of Breast Cancer”.  I was inspired to be a part of their story, their work.  Because of my diagnosis and participation, I have met and become friends with a number of people spanning all the facets of cancer.  I met doctors, nurses, volunteers, film directors, dragon boaters, comedians, politicians, fund-raisers, hospital and other medical administrators, survivors and co-survivors, and sadly, people that eventually would lose their battle.  Having met so many new and diverse people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, when someone comes to me with questions about cancer, I can tell them what I’ve learned or connect them with people who know much more than that.  I may not be able to answer every question, but I know someone who knows.  The more you know about what you’ll deal with, the better equipped you are to make it down that “pink ribbon” road.  It’s a journey to say the least, and it is so much easier when you don’t have to take the trip alone.    I’ve always had a volunteer spirit, it’s nice to be there when someone needs you.  My mother taught us by example; she always responded when a “need” was presented.  From giving the postman a mayonnaise jar of iced water every day to raising funds to air-condition our elementary school, Mama took action.  She’s 81 and still going strong!

2. You are truly an inspiration to women who have been affected by breast cancer! Tell us how you managed to stay positive and embody the selflessness volunteer spirit while undergoing breast cancer treatment. What inspired you to keep moving forward? 

I was able to stay positive through my cancer treatments in three ways:

1.) I had an amazing support group.  My husband, Tom, was loving, caring, and understanding.  He was committed to me and my well-being through it all.  My family and friends went the extra mile, supporting my decisions, helping with the special things, and keeping the routine things in order.

2.) I had a super medical team.  Everyone, from the doctors to their staff was on their “A-game.”  They were educated, they were professional, they were caring, they were patient, they had a plan and they guided me through every step, every phase.  I felt like I was their only patient, but I knew they were being everything they were to me to others every day.

3.) Each time I started to sink into a depression, God sent someone into my life that seemed to have a bigger battle than I did.  I was reminded on more than a few occasions that I was not alone and that I had the tools to take the next step.  There was always someone that didn’t have the support group, didn’t have the medical team, didn’t get the positive answers that I got.

3. You are the 2012 recipient of the Charlene Daughtry Award from Komen Lowcountry. Tell me a little about this award and what it means to you personally.

I saw the first recipient receive the award at my first Komen Survivor Celebration in October, 2005.  I’d never met Charlene and she had already lost her battle with cancer.  I don’t know that I remember who got it the first couple of years.  It didn’t really became personal to me until  it was awarded to Lucy Spears.  I’d worked with her on a couple of Komen projects.  She was a tremendous volunteer with unending energy and drive – still is.  Bonnie Hancock received it the next year; I served on a committee with her for several years.  Again, selflessness embodied.  Gene Glave received the award last year . . . her last Survivor Celebration.  The Komen Board chose each of these women because they carry on Charlene Daughtry’s dream, her enthusiasm, her courage.  Me?  Part of this group?  I fear I don’t measure up, but I am honored, and I am humbled to be included.  Charlene, the recipients I know, and myself – our common threads?  Breast cancer, a desire to share our stories, our experience, and our courage with others.  Just like the candle-lighting ceremony at each Survivor Celebration, it’s about igniting your own light and passing it on to others.

4. What is the one thing you want all women to know about breast cancer?

Look for it!  Catch it early!  Deal with it!  Do not ignore it!  Know you are not alone.  There’s help every step of the way.

5. You have achieved so much and given back since being diagnosed with cancer. What is next for you in life? 

We’re still a few years from retirement, but that’s the next big thing.  Tom and I want to travel.  We’ve been to some wonderful places already: Jamaica, Hawaii, Barbados. We want to take some longer trips to see more of America up-close.  Of course, we’ll be planning those around small trips to Rock Hill to see my sister’s growing family.  Her third grandchild is due in March.  I want to make sure Kaylee (2-1/2), Wyatt (3 months) and G-baby #3 know they have great-grandparents and a great-aunt and great-uncle in Charleston.  I’m sure I’ll still find time for Komen.  Wouldn’t it be nice if Kaylee didn’t have to worry about breast cancer?


7 Ways to Celebrate Pink Sunday Wherever You Are

pink sundayPink Sunday is a breast-cancer awareness program sponsored by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure ® Lowcountry affiliate and takes place Sunday, October 23, 2011. Nonprofit organizations and churches will be celebrating with their own Pink Sunday events, but we thought this was such a great idea that we’d like to let everyone know about it.

A highlight of Pink Sunday is the Commitment Challenge, which simply means that by signing the Commitment form you promise your friends and family that you’ll get a mammogram this year. The form has a space for your email address, and if you choose to include it, Komen Lowcountry will send you updates.

Ideas for celebrating Pink Sunday no matter where you are include . . .

  • Wearing pink and asking others to as well.
  • Ordering or making pink pins to give to friends and family.
  • Asking others to take the Commitment Challenge with you.
  • Collecting donations for Komen Lowcountry, or asking people to make donations online at
  • Creating a Wall of Hope with names of those who have lost the breast cancer battle and names of survivors.
  • Celebrating survivors you know with a candle lighting ceremony, pink ribbons, or flowers.
  • Asking a survivor to share her story with your family or group of friends while honoring her with a special lunch or dinner.

For more ideas and the Commitment form, visit:

Do you have any ideas to celebrate Pink Sunday?

Lowcountry Pink for the Cure Event Starts Soon

pink for the cureThe Komen Lowcountry Race for the Cure® is sponsoring the Lowcountry Pink for the Cure Window Display Competition 2011 to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The group challenges local business to get creative and decorate their storefronts with the Race for the Cure’s® signature color pink.

Windows will be judged on their use of the color pink, their creativity, and their breast cancer awareness. Winners will be announced on ABC News 4 Lowcountry Live and the radio, and the grand prize-winning business will receive a live radio broadcast from their location.

Registration has begun, and all signups are due by Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 5 p.m. Windows must be decorated by Friday, September 30, 2011, and remain decorated through the Komen Lowcountry Race for the Cure® on October 15, 2011. Photos of the decorations are due Tuesday, October 4, 2011, and judges will be visiting participating businesses in person. Winners will be announced on Friday, October 14, 2011, and the radio broadcast from the grand prize winner’s location will take place.

Participants may decorate their windows any way they choose, but they must display the Race for the Cure® poster.

Local sponsors for the event include:

  • Roper St. Francis Cancer Care
  • Roper Radiologists
  • TBonz Restaurant Group
  • TBonz Gill & Grill
  • Liberty
  • Pearlz
  • Flying Fish
  • Liberty Tap Room & Grill
  • Kaminsky’s Baking Co.
  • Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse
  • Bi-Lo Charities
  • Sherwin Williams

For more information about the event, visit

Is your business going to participate?