SAN ANTONIO- Photos can document the best and worst times of your life, but a photo session changed one breast cancer survivor's life and now she's spreading the word about a unique fundraiser to help others like her.
Tanya Panula was diagnosed with breast cancer at 33 and endured 20 surgeries, including a radical mastectomy and reconstructive operations. She beat the disease, but wasn't able to shake the emotional scars.
"That was difficult. You definitely start to notice you no longer look like you did before. I lost a breast so I thought I wasn't a woman anymore," Panula said.
But seven years later, boudoir-style photos helped her heal that painful part of the past.
"She showed me the photos during the session and said 'see? You are a woman! Look!' and that's when I broke down and cried," she said. "Through Anita's lens I could see that I was still a woman and still a beautiful."
On Saturday, Studio Boudoir is hosting a marathon photo session where half the proceeds will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The philanthropy was inspired by clients like Tanya.
"It kinda touched a nerve with me. While this is a photograph at the end of the day, it really sends a powerful message for someone that's in that situation," Studio Boudoir owner Anita Lubke said.
What was supposed to be a surprise anniversary gift surprised Panula with just how much one picture can mean.
"I thought this would be an amazing present for him but it ended up being a gift for both of us," Panula said.
There are still sessions available on Saturday. Lubke plans to shoot pictures of six or seven women. For more information, check out their website
. Lubke plans to host another in October for National Breast Cancer Awareness month.