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August's Gorgeous Woman of the Month is Melissa Kauffeldt

Written by Melissa Kauffeldt

Photography by:  Nicole Millard

To my fellow Thrivers and Survivors!  We all confront our cancer diagnosis differently - with different attitudes and results.  That is what makes each of our journeys unique and so personal.  I stumbled upon a quote once that really resonated with me, "Dear Cancer, thank you for making me stop and listen and remember what's truly important.  YOU CAN GO NOW."  I decided if I was to take this journey it was going to be the way I wanted it to be - full of life, laughs and making the most out of every day.    

I am a mom of three amazing young men and have been happily married for over 20 years. I am a high school teacher and spend a great deal of my time trying to inspire and motivate our youth.  I have always tried to embrace all that life sends my way and when cancer hit, I figured I should treat it no differently.   Cancer does not and did not define who I am or what I can or cannot do.  I made a choice to rise above and be the best version of me because of cancer, instead of in spite of it. 

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2015 at the age of 45 and I chose to have reconstructive surgery.  After I got the “all clear” to jump back into life, I shot out like a cannon, BOOM! 

I had the courage to pose nude for boudoir shots for a friends business and was featured in a video on womens’ body images and how we see ourselves after cancer.  This past summer, after months and months of rigorous training, I competed as a novice competitor in the Figure category for a bodybuilding competition. All of these great things would not have happened if it were not for my journey. 

I needed to take back what cancer had tried to take from me.  I won.  And I will keep winning.  What makes me feel gorgeous?  Owning who I am, kicking ass, living each day as it was intended and.....wearing expensive perfume! 😉 

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